Spring musings

* We’re on the cusp of that season when you come home to a stuffy house and realize I can open the windows and snow will not drift into the living room.  To say it’s a revelation is not to overstate the situation. Soon, the curtains billow in ecstasy and the cat rediscovers her window perch, and all is right with the world. Or, in this tiny corner.

* Walking through Beacon Hill this morning, I take a deep inhale of bread and think, even the toast smells better in this quaint, historic neighborhood. And then I realize that the aroma is coming from the Subway on the edge of the neighborhood where fresh bread is baking every day. So they say.

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* Do you remember when May Day meant dancing around the maypole and homemade paper baskets filled with flowers left on your door? I miss that.

* A pigeon pecking at bread crumbs in the park tried to woo me with its iridescent green neck. I am a little beautiful, he says, and he is right.

Sitting on the Big Apple

New York, you make me like apples.

I love hitting the city for the simple pleasures of eating and walking—an everyday occurrence to New Yorkers but the stuff of travel to me. I could make a vacation of just looking.

You know what’s underrated in NYC though (and yet another gerund in this gerund-filled post)? Sitting. Sitting is immensely enjoyable after walking up 72,000 subway steps and switching from the C to the E to the 3 to the Z (did you know there was a Z?) and then getting on an express train by mistake and doubling back. Some savvy person should charge people to sit; I would have paid serious money for an extra wooden bench in the subway or for the privilege of stretching out on someone’s stoop.

Enjoy this slideshow (taken while walking and sitting—not simultaneously, silly) of things that interested me but will probably not interest you.

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The High Line

The High Line was an elevated subway line that ran up the west side of NYC that stopped running in 1980. A passionate group of volunteers championed the idea for a park to be built on the long, narrow strip of land that’s been unused ever since. Almost three decades later, the first leg of the park is open, about 10 blocks, and it is just what a park should be: pretty with plenty of places to plunk down. In addition to benches there are some honest-to-goodness chaise longues that defy you not to sit for a spell with a coffee or book. 

Oh, there are views too. It is, after all, New York City. 

I started at Gansevoort St., happy that there was no pronunciation test. I found a charming little enclave of bistros and boutiques and almost didn’t make it to the park for all the distractions. But spotting the sign, I trotted up a few steps to a new, quieter perspective. As all good things in New York, the park is no secret, but I found plenty of solitude and places to rest amid the morning hustle of moms pushing strollers and tourists recalling the city’s yesteryear.

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About halfway down the park, you can run down to street level and grab something to eat at Chelsea Market and do what the locals do: lounge away.

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Railroad tracks, an homage to the subway of days past, were incorporated into the design, and great care was taken with the plantings, though I did find myself looking around as I settled into one spot. The prairie milkweed emits a scent that is, well, not for everyone.  

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Smile, you’re in the NYC subway

Opportunities for Kodak moments abound in New York City. Times Square, Central Park, the skyline…you could close your eyes and shoot and capture something good. But subterranean photography is where it’s at. On a recent jaunt to the city, my mom and I found cool photo ops jumping on the subway at 23rd St. and off at 28th. I’m sure the novelty has worn off for commuters, but if you’re an infrequent visitor to the city, even the subway art is something to behold. We took advantage of every ridiculous shot resulting in us wearing tiled hats and being eaten by birds of prey—even if people on the train looked at us strangely and kids were pointing. Whatever. It’s New York City. You’ll never see these people again.