Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Wonderland on the Upper West Side

There is a magic in the air after a snowfall blankets Manhattan. If you're lucky, a few snowflakes will cling to your coat and the wind will hold its breath until the snow has finished taking its turn. Once it hits the ground it usually only lasts about two minutes before turning into brown sludge mixed in with the gravy from the gutters.

My timing was perfect and I got to be part of the magic this morning when I was walking dogs on the Upper West Side. It wasn't too cold and there was no wind whipping my face from the wind tunnels between buildings. There was a stillness in Central Park, even in late morning, where rolling pathways and stone walls buffered the sounds of bleating taxis and buses from the street.

By late afternoon, I followed the light farther west and found even more quiet in Riverside Park. This is one of treasures of Manhattan, but is so often overshadowed by its celebrity sibling, Central Park. Bordering the Hudson River, Riverside Park is infinitely more quiet, at least in winter. The only people I ran into were parents and kids on sleds.
Here is the Firemen's Memorial, near 100th Street and Riverside Drive.

Sledding ...

And to think, a crowded, bustling Broadway is just two blocks away.

I'm glad I had my camera, because it's doubtful the park will stay this pristine through the weekend.

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