November 2, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I love to walk. I head out four or five mornings a week. Which is a good thing, because, if you’ve read previous posts on this blog or my other, Food, Seriously, you’ll know that I also love to eat. Whenever I move to a new city or neighborhood, one of the first things I do is map out a new route. I like having it set – the time, the distance – so that I don’t have to think about those things. My mind is free to wander … wherever.
When I moved to the Lower East Side, I was faced with same challenge, and this time I realized that at least part of my walk could take place along a river, the East River to be exact, and through the East River Park. It runs from Montgomery Street to East 12th Street, along FDR Drive, and like many others in the city, it’s recently been updated, made user friendly.
The park is unbelievably close. I cross over FDR Drive at Delancey Street and walk (quickly) alongside the river. On with way, I pass tennis courts that are busy, even at 7:30 a.m., even when the temperature is 37 degrees; benches installed facing the river like they’re expecting something or someone; a track encircling a soccer field, both of which are in use most mornings; metal tables connected to metal chairs that are mostly empty at this time of day; leafy trees; a baseball diamond; joggers, some leisurely, some running a good clip and checking their watches – a good sign they’re training for Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon; and finally a playground, where I exit the park at East 10th Street. Throughout my walk there is the East River hit by varying angles of the morning light, the odd boat buzzing by, the Domino Sugar Factory back lit like in a movie, and the Williamsburg Bridge.
How fortunate we are to have these beautiful public spaces – rejuvenated by the city for our pleasure.
And this one on the Lower East Side is to me, daily, a marvel.
July 18, 2010 § Leave a Comment
When it comes to New York City’s green spaces, Central Park gets most of the attention. Given its size, not to mention its history and the number of events taking place on a daily basis, this is understandable. However, once you make your way past the “grande dame” of NYC parks, you’ll find there are many others that, while smaller in scale, boast their own charms – Riverside Park, Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, The High Line.
I recently made my first visit to another one of these, the newly rejuvenated and expanded Hudson River Park. Trust me, if you’ve not been, you’ve got to go.
Running along the Hudson, between Battery Park in lower Manhattan and West 59th Street, the park and estuarine sanctuary covers 550 acres and offers a wide range of sites, activities, and flora and fauna. Joggers and cyclists get their daily fix, to be sure, but there’s more. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, and dog runs, not to mention snack stands, places to get a tan, and spots to go kayaking. There’s the Chelsea Waterslide, the Chelsea Piers, and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. In other words, there truly is something for everyone.
Hop on one of the cross-town buses and make a day of it. The Hudson River Park beckons on hot, steamy summer days … days just like today, actually.