The Central Park Crooner

The US publication of The Virgin Cure is only 3+ weeks away (June 26th!), so in anticipation of the big day I thought I’d start a new feature on my blog to share some of my favourite memories from the time I spent researching the novel in New York. In a series of “New York Minutes,” I’ll be posting moments from the past couple of years – snapshots, quotes, audio and such. I hope you enjoy them!

The Central Park Crooner

New York Minute #1

On a rainy morning in May, while my husband Ian and I were strolling through Central Park, we came across a gentleman standing under one of the park’s many bridges.

Actually, we heard the man’s voice first, echoing off the stonework in a way that only a true crooner’s voice can. He’d found the acoustic sweet spot under the bridge, and he was lingering there, singing one standard after another, putting the ghosts of Frank, Sammy, and Dean to shame.

It was a memory to hang the day on, the air misty with romance as Mr. McKay put his arms around my waist for an impromptu dance. We swayed to the music, hoping not to disturb the man into silence.

We watched as a sparrow flitted to the ground in front of the man (no doubt looking for breadcrumbs or a quick snack.) The crooner took the bird’s appearance as an invitation to sing to it, and he gave the little sparrow his all,  right down to Rat Pack-worthy finger snaps and points.

Have a listen…
[audio:|titles=Man Singing Under Bridge – Central Park NYC]


I never knew a lot about kisses,

I never knew the thrill I would get from your touch,

I never did much,

Oh, look at me now.


I’m a new man,

much better than, Casanova at his best.

With a new heart and a brand new start,

I’m so proud I’m busting my vest.


I’m not a guy who turned out a lover,

I’m not the guy who longed for blue diamond rings,

and all of those things,

Oh, look at me now…


(Special thanks to Ian McKay for taking my sketchy iPhone recording and making it sing. Happy Anniversary, baby!)

People, places and things mentioned in this post: Central Park, The Virgin Cure.

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