Where do you live? Do you feel that you know your town or city well? Really well? Can you find your way through the short cuts, do you know the nooks and crannies? I thought I knew where I lived. But did I?
Here’s a place I discovered this year. Where do you think we are? This beautiful overlook faces a long, wide river.
This winding path is perfect for an afternoon walk.
Look how lush it is here, even in the fall.
Where is this forest?
And this street, flanked by a tall wall of rock?
Hmm, what’s this I see? It seems to be a subway entrance punched into the rock.
Yep, we’re in Manhattan.
This is my new neighborhood, Hudson Heights, and we just took a stroll through Fort Tryon Park, which is right outside my front door. Here’s a post I wrote last spring, on my first recon mission to the neighborhood to check it out as a possible place to live.
When most of us think of New York City, we think of skyscrapers and crowds of people and concrete and noise. What I didn’t discover until recently is that New York City has a flip side: 38,000 acres of parkland, leading the country in parkland as a percentage of city area at 19.5% of the city’s land.
Northern Manhattan, where I’m now living, has more than 500 acres of parkland between 155th Street and 220th Street, made up of 5 major parks and 9 miles of shoreline, including Manhattan’s last stand of virgin forest and the last remnant of the tidal marshes that once surrounded the island. Last Saturday morning as I woke up, I heard a red-tailed hawk screeching. I looked out the window and there he was, circling my apartment building with a friend.
It’s fun to be surprised.