By Bohemia Agent Sandy Rosa
I have lived in Upper Manhattan for over 10 years (I just dated myself)! When I first moved Uptown (long before my real estate career) I had no idea about the neighborhood I ended up renting in. I was just hunting for the best rent and largest apartment in my budget. The apartment was half a block away from a train entrance, it was huge and stabilized, and my rent was sexy! I decided I could figure out the neighborhood later. During my first few months in Fort George/Hudson Heights, I would pack my day bag and head to Central Park via Subway when I needed to get my fill of nature. I’m a California Girl; I grew up frequenting the beach, the mountains, and parks any chance I got. If it meant a 20-minute subway ride to lie on some grass, see sky and feel the sun, then so be it!
A few months into my first year in Upper Manhattan my Mother came to visit, and being way more adventurous than myself, she covered every aspect of this new neighborhood by foot, with my Chihuahua at her side, while I was working during the day. I did not learn about these mini-adventures of hers until a few days into her stay when she called me at work to rave about the most beautiful park she had just found. “How come you haven’t taken me here yet?” To which I responded in panic, “where are you?” I don’t know anything about that neighborhood yet, you’re going to get lost, this isn’t California, you can’t just wander and talk to strangers, go straight home the same way you got there before it gets dark!”
The next day over coffee, I proceeded to continue scolding her about being safe and how this was NYC and not California! As that was my day off, she insisted that I come with her to this park to see it and how I wouldn’t believe it when I saw it. After a 10-minute walk of scolding my ever-so-patient Mother about her wanderings, we walked up Ft. Washington Ave (which I had never even walked up) and started to approach the entrance to the park. A lovely little roundabout with a sign reading “Fort Tryon Park” surrounded by perfectly manicured flower beds not only greeted us, but it silenced me. My mother’s big grin and girly giggle filled me with laughter. I knew she found a gem and I couldn’t believe (even though I wasn’t surprised) that my Always Adventurous Mother had totally and completely SCHOOLED ME!
From that day forward my Love Affair with Fort Tryon Park Began. My days began with a walk through the park, no matter what the season or weather. Walking along the trails in the park, taking in the gorgeous view of the Hudson River, The GWB, The New Jersey Palisades (yes…the cliffs along the Jersey side Hudson river line are lovely!) and stopping to watch the river flow was the new found AMAZING perk to living in my new ‘hood. It started my day with a serene calm – which was almost always taken away by the lovely stress of the NYC rush hour commute (let’s be serious, we’re still talking about NYC here)- but nevertheless, it offered me a VERY local outlet to start and sometimes end the day connected to nature. My free time in the Spring and Summers would be filled with picnics in the park, or even laying out to catch some sun. As the years went by, I found NYC to become more and more crowded. What used to be a calm day in Central Park started turning into what felt like a “park version” of Times Square. Noisy and Full of People. Don’t get me wrong, Our Central Park is like nothing else, and definitely something to behold, but I say “you can have your Central Park!” For me, I’m a local girl, I want to walk to my parks, and I want to stay till dusk. I want to look at the river as I walk through the trails, trees, flowers and shrubs, and while the Hudson is no Pacific Ocean, it has definitely helped fill a void while I’ve lived here. Leave Central Park to the tourists, and give me Fort Tryon Park any day!
Fort Tryon isn’t just a park. It hosts fun events (yoga, fitness walks, tai-chi, garden tours, Annual Medieval Festivals etc.), has a Michelin Guide Recommended restaurant nestled inside, is home to The Cloisters Museum, and has quite the history. Any Dog lovers out there? There is a massive dog run for big breed lovers, with a smaller dog run alongside it for your pint sized four legged pals!
It’s also a muse for some lovely artists such as my dear friend below.
FORT TRYON PARK CHERRY BLOSSOMS~ John Baker 2014
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