Posts Tagged ‘FDR Drive’

On my way home…

April 19, 2009

After a Greek omelet with two friends in town unexpectedly from Philadelphia (who wanted to go to the Met), I found myself at an entrance to Central Park East, gifted with the first perfect day of Spring.

New York Times under my arm, I weaved my way through the dog and baby show (which included dogs in strollers and babys on leashes!) and settled on a half shady spot, under a big tree by the boat pond.  I was halfway through reading the T Magazine when a horde of people scurried to a tree across the lawn from me.  Binoculars and telephoto lenses were trained on a mass of branches at something so small I couldn’t see it from afar.  Scrambling, so as not to miss the excitement, I approached one of the apparent bird watchers and learned that a yellow throated warbler had been flying around Central Park, about 140 miles away from where he is supposed to be.  (It was confirmed to be a male warbler).  I was lucky enough that the tiny guy flitted to a low branch and I got a peek at his bright yellow throat before he flew away.

As I began walking downtown through the park, I spotted a woman with her big brown bunny on a leash.  That’s something I would expect to see in Tompkins Square Park–not on the Upper East Side!

Magnolias were in full bloom all over Central Park

Magnolias were in full bloom all over Central Park

When I got to the South end of the park,  I headed East towards the river.  On my way to the East River promenade, I passed by the UN and copied some tourists who were taking pictures similar to this:

The top of the Empire State Building is very sharp!

Ouch! The top of the Chrysler Building is very sharp.

Finally, around 33rd street, I was able to cross over the FDR Drive and reach the promenade.  One of the more amusing things I saw along the way home:

I know this is the East River, YOU know this is the East River, the question is, does this uber-tan, uber-blonde speedo wearing male model wannabe know he's posing on a slab of discarded concrete on the East River?

I know this is the East River, YOU know this is the East River, the question is, does this uber-tan, uber-blonde, speedo wearing, male model wannabe know he's posing on a slab of discarded concrete on the East River?

The 23rd street portion of the river walk was impressively well-kept and it felt great to be out with so many other New Yorkers walking, biking and blading.

My day came full circle when I spotted

The Williamsburg Bridge in sight and a Downtown Magnolia tree

The Williamsburg Bridge in sight and a Downtown Magnolia tree

After almost 6.5 miles of walking, the sight of the Williamsburg Bridge above was very welcoming.

Almost Home!

Almost Home!

Walking over the pedestrian bridge at Delancey Street I was relieved to be minutes from popping my shoes off, a cold drink and the loo, but this extraordinary hike made me more in love with New York City than I had been in a good long time.  Living on the Lower East Side is great, but this journey made me re-appreciate “uptown,” too.

I’d been previously re-inspired about living in New York, after reading this week’s cover story from New York Magazine.  If after reading it you’re not newly invigorated about the big apple and determined to make more of your own discoveries, I’d be surprised.

Anyone know a good foot masseuse around here?

Welcome

March 13, 2009

Originating at the East River, adventuring through the Lower East Side, China Town and SoHo, Grand Street comes to a halt at Varick Street, as if to say, “This is as close as I get to Jersey”.

Exit the B/D line at Grand Street and you can find crabs so fresh they’re still clawing at each other in their shallow plastic tubs. Bok Choy greener than will ever appear on your plate at Congee Village. And all the amazing finds of cavernous “99¢” stores: a bamboo steamer for $2.99, wrapping paper, rubber hotwing key chains, flip flops and mops. Heading East, Chinese bakeries with custards and pork buns give way to fabric emporiums, banks, pizzerias and shells of businesses rattling with ghosts of garments and sales girls. Kosher diners, bialys, drug stores, a few modern bistros, a supermarket (Kosher and not) mix with bodegas, cleaners, a bike shop and an opportunistically named realtor: LOHO Realty.

The last stop on the M14A bus is Grand Street and the FDR. That’s my stop, too. I hear the whispers of the Lower East Side, catch the neighbors buying a slice of babka to eat on the way home from the bakery and watch with mixed emotions as new bars and restaurants pop up around me where our grandparents hawked fruits, keys and religious articles.

I’ll be sharing the sights and sounds, the news and notions, the excellent and everyday of my our neighborhood, right here.

It’ll be grand.