Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Footloose in the Big Apple

We Americans talk about honoring our forefathers, but I jokingly say that I honor my "four mothers." My father was married four times, one less than his five kids put together so far. Two of these were happy, and two "un." Unfortunately, the two happy marriages were both very short, one ending with him becoming a widower after five years, and the other resulting in my last step-mother becoming a widow in less than a year. (I can't complain about the length of his unhappy marriages, for if the first of these had been shorter than 12 years, I would not be writing this.)

My step-mother Rhoda is moving to Long Island in a week or so, and I wanted to visit her in New York City, and also see the apartment that has been in my family for 42 years one last time. It had been a long while since I was there. I hopped on the train, which took 4 hours longer than it should have (don't ask!) to get to NYC Saturday from Richmond. (Okay, ask - the snowplow on the front of the train caught on a road crossing and bent under the train in Ashland, just minutes after leaving the station. It took three hours to remove the mangled plow.) But I finally got there. Rhoda is slowing down and didn't much feel like doing anything other than conversation, so I decided to take a walk about in Manhattan for three hours Sunday while she took a nap. If I were walking straight out, I could cover about 13 miles in that time, but with frequent stops, a slower pace, traffic lights, and so forth, I probably only walked seven or so miles.

From the apartment on the Upper East Side, I first headed east to Carl Shurtz Park on the East River. I had walked there many times with my father on visits to the Big Apple, and it was a bit like a walk down Memory Lane to long gone times. I took plenty of photos during my walk, and share some of them here.

The Gracie Mansion in Carl Shurtz Park is the home to New York City's Mayors, although I imagine the current mayor has an even nicer place of his own. This mansion was once the residence of Theodore Roosevelt's Aunt, Anna Bulloch Gracie:I think this is the Triboro Bridge:Views along the East River in the park. Lots of walkers, runners, and dogs were enjoying the fairly mild weather.From Carl Shurtz Park, I headed west to check out "The Met." I was sorely tempted to go through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but at $25 a pop, my limited time could not justify this expense, so I headed to Central Park. The Met is less than a half mile from my step-mother's apartment:Spring is coming to New York!There were so many pretty paths in the park:I saw lots of birds from this spots, including tufted titmice and a downy woodpecker:No kidding!Central Park views:Two fierce eagles celebrate their kill of a bighorn sheep:I keep feeling like I saw a statue like this, an Indian brave hunting with his dog, in Cooperstown, New York a couple of years ago:This looks like a great way to see the park:"The Bard" probably never set foot in the New World, but here he is now:How iconic a Central Park image is this?This beautiful building, the Dairy, is a gift shop:Balto was the Siberian Husky that led one of the teams to deliver diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925. The exploit of the brave men and dogs that made this possible are now commemorated in the Iditarod sled dog race. This musician brought back memories of walking here with my dad listening to people making music, and how much he enjoyed that:Central Park has beautiful landscaping:


  1. I so enjoyed walking around NYC with you. Lovely photos!

  2. Hi you two - thanks for the comments. It was a fun walk, although it felt a little poignant at times. Art