If one wants to experience New York, one great venue is Central Park, when open, but before 9:00am or after 9:00pm. It is here that New Yorkers can walk their dogs off-lead. The collection of dogs and owners is almost as wonderful and eclectic as the city itself. While during the week, the strata are pretty rigid (the same people walk their dogs at 6:15, or 6:45, or 7:15, for example), during the weekend the schedules are relaxed and there is a greater mixing and matching.
And, of course, while regulars may never learn the names of the other owners, most know the names of all of the other dogs.