As the popular saying goes, the best things in life are accessible only by owning property in an exclusive neighborhood. Until recently, Gramercy Park was one of those things. But now, thanks to software engineer and former Army sergeant Shawn Christopher, the last private park in New York City is getting some public exposure. Christopher took this 360-degree photo while on vacation last spring; he'd rented an apartment through Airbnb that came with the use of a coveted park key. Christopher recently posted his panorama photos to Google Maps.
Christopher violated of 3 park rules: no pictures, no borrowing keys, and no entering unaccompanied by a key owner. No word yet on whether he attempted any sketching, which was made illegal under park law in the 19th century.
Gramercy Park can only be entered using one of the 383 keys rented annually by park neighbors as well as certain exclusive clubs, and park officials have reportedly turned down filming requests from the likes of Robert De Niro and Woody Allen. Christopher says that he wasn't aware of the rules he was breaking. Arlene S. Harrison, the president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, says she is not going to ask Google Maps to take down the pictures. So thanks to the internet, you can now look the park's famous Calder sculpture and pristine botany, and thumb your nose at the man (or 383 men) without ever having to go outside.
Between this and the announcement that Girl Scout cookies will now be sold online, we're very thankful for the world wide web this week.