Governors Island, situated between Manhattan and Brooklyn, within a stone’s throw of Lady Liberty, used to be a military base that was sold to the city for public use in 2003. Nowadays you can rent bikes and explore the different gardens, view dilapidated homes, art parks, a castle, a park filled with hammocks (which hundreds of kids have sat in whilst eating rapidly melting ice creams – you have been warned). My favorite part of Governors Island? The boat ride over. I love being on the water and observing the city from a different vantage point. I’m one of those people who enjoys taking the Staten Island Ferry just for the hell of it. It’s free y’all! And you get a 25 minute boat ride each way. The GI ferry, which docks next to the SI ferry, is about 6 minutes from port to port. Much too short. Also, the GI ferry runs only at the top of the hour and as I arrived at 11:02am, I had an hour to kill before boarding the next available ferry. Hence, the first photo you see is from the South Street Seaport (which used to be a crappy tourist destination but is currently undergoing much needed renovations including the most awesome urban dog park I’ve ever seen).
Yes, I admit I have a serious problem: I’m addicted to cloud porn. Tonight, NYC gave its inhabitants a spectacular sunset filled with glorious pink, gray and orange clouds. Heaven. It was mesmerizing to watch them shift from one shape and color to another. Examine the photos below at your own risk…cloud porn is very provocative and lures you in before you realize what’s happening…
P.S. These photos are unfiltered and undoctored.
On Sunday I took a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. It doesn’t open until 10am which is a problem for a pasty white person, as in the summer months I prefer to go anywhere outside during early morning hours when the sun isn’t as strong so I don’t fry to a crisp. I took the D train there and Metro North back (the station is right in front of the gardens). People, believe me when I tell you, the park is HUGE. And poorly planned. Most garden trails don’t lead to other garden trails, which is odd. And while there is shade in some gardens, the main path is very wide and therefore shadeless. After two hours and what felt like six miles of walking yet only seeing half the park, my 80 SPF sunscreen failed and I ended up with the ever enchanting forehead burn. Yes, mom, I will buy a hat for next time.
There is a Bronx River (who knew?) that runs through the entire park, but I was not made aware of the wooded trail that runs the length of the park along the river until I reached the far end of the park (stupid map). Did I mention that it’s shaded? Phooey. I may go back just for that trail. Otherwise, I much preferred the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as it felt more organically designed. I also didn’t find the Bronx gardens as inspiring as the Brooklyn gardens.
However, here are some of the things I did like:
Is it weird that I have a nature sounds app on my phone and on weekends when hanging out in the apartment with Monkey I play birdsong to drown out the traffic noise? I long to live in the country: fresh air, growing my own vegetables, falling asleep to the sound of crickets, waking to the sound of birds, cursing at deer for snacking on my flowers, hosting dinner parties under the stars in my backyard, drinking coffee on the porch on Sunday mornings as the sun comes up, driving to the farmer’s market in my well-loved pickup truck to sell eggs from my brood of hens.
Instead, each morning I cram myself onto a subway train where someone’s backpack digs into my ribcage, the person in front of me clearly forgot to brush their teeth, and the a/c isn’t working. People look each other over until they are caught staring then quickly avert their eyes. Then it’s up ten thousand flights of stairs out of the subway to the office, where I sit on my ass for 8+ hours straight. WHY! Oh, yeah…a paycheck.
There is respite from city life, and I just found it at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. I went on a Friday morning when there were very few people about. The Japanese Garden was so serene and smelled like soft pine and cool earth. There were dusty green turtles sunning themselves by a waterfall and a variety of colored koi. It was utterly calming. I’m not a fan of store-bought roses because they don’t actually smell anymore, but the Rose Garden was lush with all kinds of beautiful roses and flowers that smelled heavenly. I wish there was a way to bottle up those scents and transport them home with me.
Here are some pics from my visit:
NYC’s Financial District offers more than just skyscrapers, suits and pencil skirts. I took the 5 train downtown to check out Stone Street, which turned out to be a disappointment, but I ended up finding all sorts of hidden treasures on the surrounding streets. I love the mixture of smaller buildings from the 1700′s tucked between massive glass towers…and gravestones. Trinity Church’s cemetery on Broadway at Wall Street is lovely and quite an unexpected find amid the daily hustle and bustle of business folk and tourists.