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Thousands Enjoy Spring Weather in Central Park

By Gustavo Solis | April 28, 2013 2:42pm | Updated on April 28, 2013 2:50pm

CENTRAL PARK - Baseball diamonds, basketball courts and running trails throughout Central Park were flooded with visitors taking advantage of the sunny skies and 69 degree weather Sunday.

“Today is probably the best weather for this,” said Rob Mathews of the Upper West Side who works out in the park’s outdoor gym every weekend. “The (pull up) bars gets cold in the winter.”

Mathews worked out with five other people by the pull up bars, most of which were shirtless. Alan Skhurbati of Russia spun like a gymnast over the bars as a group of children watched.

There was a constant flow of runners and bikers throughout the park making it a little difficult to get around. Tourists crossed running routes with the same level of caution they use to cross the busy streets of Time Square.

“I think the amount of people here is a testament to this perfect weather,” said TJ Martin of Murray Hill as he ran while pushing a stroller with a sleeping baby inside. Martin, who was wearing short shorts and no shirt, said pushing the stroller helps his child get to bed.

“It takes a lot more work to bundle him up in the winter,” he said.

Every softball diamond in The North Meadow and The Great Lawn was occupied. At one end of the diamonds parents sat on blankets as they watched their children playing little league. On the other end families, girlfriends and coworkers cheered adults playing the same game.

“I like that it’s warmer and you can play outside,” said a little girl from Midtown who went to the park with her sister and father to cheer on her friends play softball. The father declined to give his daughters' names without their mother's permission. Both of the girls wore shorts and large hats to protect their faces from the hot sun.

Humans weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the perfect weather Sunday. Dogs joined their owners in the park and had fun rolling in the grass and chasing each other across the lawns. 

“Winston loves it out here,” said his owner Ivy Buckley. “He’s been cooped up all winter.”

Sunday's perfect weather may not last. The National Weather Service predicts a 30 percent chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week is expected to bring a high of 61, 63, and 64 degrees, more than five degrees colder than today's 69 degrees.