Riverside Park

Riverside Park

The day sang with sunshine and temperatures that skimmed above freezing. Relative to just earlier this week, it felt like spring and with warmth came a lightness of being.  I went to my Y4C yoga class on 72nd Street this afternoon carrying my Polaroid camera and yoga mat.  Subconsciously, I think I knew I was going to take the long way home.

In the, ahem, 35 years I’ve lived in New York.

That line just gave me an ice cream headache.  Has it really been thirty-five years?

I was going to mention that January flashed by but now I realize half my life sped by in a blink of an eye too!  Anyway, my home has always been on the West Side of Manhattan.  It wasn’t for any particular reason other than that’s where I could find available apartments.  My earlier years were first at FIT, which is at 27th Street.  There was a year of instability where an illegal sublet on 79th Street and a couch on 84th Street were my homes.  I moved up around 107th Street and Broadway for nearly 7 years before moving to Chelsea.  In all of the time I’ve lived here, I never walked along the Hudson River past 72nd Street.

That was, until today.

Riverside Park Hudson RIver

I left class after having spent 90 minutes stretching out my hips and arms and headed into Riverside Park and then towards the river’s edge.  The light on the trees was just magical and birds chattered with enthusiasm.  I think they too felt a reprieve from the winter doldrums.  I kept walking north hoping to capture the beauty of the George Washington Bridge.  It faded into the sky in all of my photos.  The light was right for trees and not for bridges and it wasn’t until 125th Street that it completely faded as the sun set.

Riverside Park 125th Street

At 125th Street there is a dock that I walked out onto to capture the last wisp of light on the Hudson River.  Ice caps floated downstream.  The Iroquois referred to this river as Muhheakantuck which is a mouth full and not surprising that the name didn’t survive the test of time.  It means river that flows two ways.  Yep, the lower half of the Hudson isn’t a river at all but a tidal estuary.  Sometimes you can see the water flowing down in one area and up in another.  Once I snapped the last Polaroid, I caught the subway at 125th Street and headed home.  It was a perfect afternoon.

This entry was posted in Essay, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Riverside Park

  1. K C Eames says:

    Great images Mae. You really captured the essence of the place. Well done!
    Back in the 70’s I lived on West 92nd right next to Riverside and your writing brought me right back to the walks I enjoyed up and down the up and down river.

    • maesprose says:

      Back in the late 70’s that was a “sketchy” area. Actually, all of New York had an air of violence to it. The walk I took yesterday was filled with “good day” as greetings. Back in the “day”, we would just snarl at each other.

      • K C Eames says:

        That is exactly how I remember it.
        Never walk with your hands in your pockets, never wait in the subway without a column at your back and never look anyone in the eye.
        Imagine coming into that after living in a town that was six square miles with 300 residents and no stoplights. Yikes! What an eye opener it was for this young lad.

      • maesprose says:

        Ha! That was quite an adjustment. My hometown was a bit bigger but nothing like the city. I loved it though.

  2. Gary Holmes says:

    Posts like this make me wish we were still living on the West Side. (sigh)

  3. tw says:

    Beautiful photos Mae. I can’t believe you’ve been in New York for 35 years, you write with the wisdom of a sage and the evergreen freshness of youth. Long may that continue 🙂

  4. maesprose says:

    Thanks! I moved here at 17 – should tell that story one day!

  5. John says:

    Sounds like a wonderfully peaceful kind of afternoon.

    Isn’t it funny how we don’t often drift outside of our own little area. I’ve lived in the Denver area all my life, most of it in one location — and there are parts of the city I’ve never been to.

  6. elroyjones says:

    I love a good expedition! Laughed at “back in the day we would just snarl at each other.”

  7. naomimgruer says:

    One of my favorite things to do is ride my bike on the path by Riverside Park! The scent is heavenly when the roses are in bloom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s