I live in a city I love very much but it can feel loud, crowded, plastered in concrete. Sometimes I am desperate for relief. I need to see some green.
I don’t have a car and escaping to nearby quiet can turn into an epic journey. A 26 mile trip to my home town, with all its various modes of transport and transfers takes just over 2 hours. Technically, a certain Kenyan can run there faster (Geoffrey Mutai’s fastest marathon time is 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds.)
So, in an effort to find the nature I crave, I have come to accept the travel time. I wait on oppressively hot subway platforms, stick to greasy subway seats. I take the Sunday Times and read it cover to cover. I devour entire books. I make it happen.
Today Tyler and I journeyed one and a half hours to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to hike its trails. We crossed the breezy fields, passed a cricket team clad in crisp, white uniforms. A haze of hamburger smoke hovered over three generation family barbecues. We made it to the hare and tortoise marked trail, crossed over the highway (yes, in New York City, hikes involve crossing highways) and found complete solitude. Quite possibly because no one else in their right minds would take a hike…in the Bronx…in a wet-blanket soup of weather. But I am nothing if not determined.
As we approached the end of our here we go loop-de-loop, we were greeted with the best kind of sound. Not the call of birds or the scamper of deer but a sound unique to a city full of life. In a mess of trees and raspberry bushes and runaway black-eyed-susans in pink: a band bursting with song.
I don’t know any other city in the world that can boast hiking trails complete with live concerts. It’s why I love New York. It’s what keeps me forever guessing, never knowing what I’ll find.
|Last stop on the 1 train|
|The Hare and Tortoise Trail|
|Sun sparkle through these skinny trees|
|Proof New York City is not entirely concrete|