My wife and I have been taking some time to go out for long walks while I’m not so swamped with classwork. Central Park is nice, but we live a lot closer to Fort Tryon Park, which is also an awesome place to visit. We can walk there from where we live and the park itself has some great views of the Hudson River and The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that houses a large part of the museum’s medieval collection.
We walked around there on a Saturday afternoon. Since it was a Saturday afternoon, the park was full of Jewish people relaxing for Shabbat. We saw families sitting on benches, walking together, taking in the view, and kids playing. There were groups of people on picnic blankets and some playing games.
My wife and I would like to go back and have a picnic. Maybe we can pull that off this weekend.
When I was in the Army, there was a running cadence that went something like this:
I can run to Jersey just like this,
All the way to Jersey and never quit.
I can run to New York just like this,
All the way to New York and never quit,
Because I’m hardcore,
etc. etc. (The cadence changes here depending on the unit type)
Well, when I crossed the bridge on foot yesterday, I wasn’t running, but this cadence was rattling around in my head. I was thinking that, of all the times I responded to or called that cadence when I was in the Army, I never actually crossed any state lines during PT (physical training). But, yesterday, I started a walk in Manhattan and ended up in the Fort Lee Historic Park across the river in New Jersey, and then came back again. Maybe in a few months I will go back and run that route, but for now I’m trying to take it easy and just enjoy myself.
The bridge’s walkway is pretty popular. I saw a lot of tourists with name tapes stuck to their shirts as well as families walking across, or hanging out on the bridge. Just as a side note, I noticed a lot of Jewish people hanging out up there. I was reminded of how many Jewish people I saw in the Bronx Zoo last June. I don’t say that to be racist or anything. I’m just wondering if I’m stumbling across popular hangout spots for Orthodox Jewish families, because I don’t recall seeing that many Jewish people hanging around lower Manhattan, the Natural History Museum or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or it could be that I just never noticed?
Anyway, the views going across the bridge are stunning. My iPhone photos aren’t going to do it justice. I’d like to go back with a real camera to try to get some better shots, and I will definitely have the opportunity, because even if I don’t run across the bridge one day, I’ll definitely be walking all the way back to Jersey.
Also, just as a side-note: In my last blog post I wrote about walking up the Hudson River Greenway underneath the George Washington Bridge and I noted that it seemed like the bushes along some parts of the trail were hollowed out, like people live there. Well, it seems like there are some homeless people living in the park, after all. When I was on the bridge, looking down, I saw a homeless guy through an opening in the trees trying to get comfortable. You can barely see him in this image, but he’s resting his legs on that blue box:
My wife and I recently moved uptown to the Washington Heights area. I can’t tell you how great it is to be out of the Lower East Side. I’m sure that may sound odd, since the Lower East Side is the hip and happening place to be, but it’s also noisy as hell, full of drunks, and groceries are exceptionally overpriced. We have a nice quiet apartment on the back of a building now, it’s quiet outside after 10PM, and we have easy access to necessary stores and transportation.
Before moving up here, I’d never been to this neighborhood before. I was even surprised to see that Manhattan could have hills. I like it, though. The different elevations of the buildings adds a lot of character to the neighborhood. Speaking of character, the buildings in this part of the city are fascinating to look at, too. A lot of the stuff downtown is new construction. I prefer older architecture. I’m looking forward to taking some time later this summer to just walk around and take photos. That’s one of the things I love about New York City in general: there’s never a lack of things to do or see.
Anyway, these are some photos that I took with my iPhone a few days ago when my wife and I went on an impromptu stroll down Riverside Drive and some of the surrounding streets. Great view! I’m looking forward to going back when I have an actual camera with me.
While walking down Riverside Drive there, we ran into a guy who was sitting on the ledge. You can probably see him in the photo I took while still under the shade of the trees. As we walked by, I noticed him giving my wife the up-and-down so I said, “Hello there. How are you?” He looked at me and started screaming about CIA surveillance. He might not have made the connection, but even if he didn’t, he’s still a nut job. We moved along at a brisk pace.