There’s a street behind a Key Food in Park Slope that’s particularly popular; a team of eager Prospect Parkers have been working to make sure a path to a well-known spot stays clear (so as to protect the delicate surrounding foliage); a man who lives in an apartment overlooking the High Line got a shock on Mother’s Day when he was on his balcony with his mother and girlfriend and witnessed a couple engaging in an indoors act on the park’s outside grass; and teenagers are getting a jump start on years of uncomfortable, budget-friendly Poäng-chair sex by going at it on the metal chaises longues outside Ikea’s Red Hook branch.
If the above real photo is any indication, this year’s spate of outdoor-sex news stories is in keeping with so much about this city that is particular to us. We treat physical barriers—the fence dividing the small-breed dog park from the big one—as sacred, but we regularly violate our personal ones. How many people have we watched scarfing down their dinners on the subway? How many newly heartbroken girls have we seen on the street, sobbing into their cell phones—a scene in some ways more intimate than that of couples rolling around in happier times? It’s during these moments, when we’re crossing the line between public and private either by being exhibitionists or by watching the exhibition, that the city feels like home. Or rather, a much-needed extension of our crap apartments.