Hudson River


It took me a long time to write yesterday’s post, mostly because it was upsetting. In the middle of writing it, I realized what a beautiful day it was outside so I took a break, and Art Child and I went for a walk.  West instead of the usual East, to Riverside Park.  The city is amazingly empty on summer holiday weekends–assuming you stay away from the tourist areas. Memorial Day weekend is Fleet Week, in addition to the naval ships and sailors, many people come by boat to hang out. I rarely make it as far south as the naval and coast guard ships, but it’s a good opportunity to enjoy the river.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Riverside park runs along the Hudson River, from 72nd Street to 158th Street.  The park is split by the Westside Highway.  Then there are tunnels that pass under the highway for pedestrians/bikers/runners to reach the path that runs directly alongside the river.  To me, because of the highway and sewage treatment plant on the northern end, it isn’t quite as peaceful as Central Park, but the river makes up for it, and it is beautiful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next to the boat basin is a cafe.  There are outside tables right over the river, and then a cavernous space that is covered but open, if that makes any sense.  It was packed in there yesterday, so I didn’t shoot any pics inside.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fringeland is meant to be a space for honesty, but not unrelenting angst and anger. I needed this walk, this post–how about you?

Enhanced by Zemanta

On the Rocks, Extra Grit

Zwei Cocktails "Leap Frog"

Zwei Cocktails “Leap Frog” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that it’s late Spring, we’re having some nice weather days here in NY.  Not today, and not forecast for this holiday weekend, but it is that time of year.  Women toss their tights, sunbathers glare at me as I walk dogs through the park, and restaurants put some tables and chairs outside to extend their seating and offer sidewalk cafes.

Stop and think about that.  Al fresco dining in the middle of Manhattan.  Now it’s true, we don’t have too much in the way of drive-thrus here.  If I’m starving and in a hurry, you just might be able to spot me eating a slice (pizza) as I walk south on Columbus Ave. Not high on the list of dining experiences but it can work.

But I would like someone to explain to me how they think it’s a good idea to pay for a restaurant meal and drinks, and sit outside on Broadway.  New York is a whole lot cleaner than it used to be, but it isn’t clean.  The amount of dirt in the air is measurable (I know this because the windows in my apartment are usually open, even ten floors above the street a lot of dirt drifts in daily).  Ask any person in the city wearing open sandals or flip flops what the soles of their feet look like at the end of the day.

Stephansplatz in Vienna, Austria. Pedestrians ...

Stephansplatz in Vienna, Austria. Pedestrians walking by. In center a young woman sits on sidewalk barefoot, with the dirty soles of her feet towards the camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t forget the tons of pedestrians checking out what’s in your dish as they sneeze past.

I’m not saying I never/have never had a meal outside in the city.  I’ve done my share of picnics in the park with the kids.  And there’s a lovely cafe in Riverside Park we used to go to.  Out of budget now, but it is a nice afternoon option.  Grills and tables under a cement dome that provides shade and cooler air, it feels like a public barbeque.  Fancier tables are right alongside the Hudson River.

Back to those sidewalk restaurant extensions.  There are trees planted along most avenues, growing from square cutouts in the sidewalk.  Pretty, and if they’re big/old enough, they offer a little shade and fresh breeze.  You’re really appreciate that nice oak three feet away from your table when the dogwalker goes past with a pack-walk.  The standard poodle especially loves that tree.  As does the mastiff and St Bernard.  Splatter splish.

If it’s a popular time of day/evening, don’t forget the press of people waiting for a table.  Don’t rush, they’re fine waiting.  New Yorkers are much friendlier than tourists expect, they’re happy to provide entertainment. The foodies–or the picky eaters–will deconstruct the contents of your plate and debate the merits of sitting at an outside table.  Many are comedians, and crack jokes about how hungry they are, offering to share your meal.

Bon apetit!

English: Looking east across Broadway, past To...

English: Looking east across Broadway, past Tom’s Restaurant, down West 112th Street on a cloudy afternoon. ZIP 10025. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)