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Showing posts from May, 2008

Promenades and Esplanades of Battery Park and Battery Park City (Slideshow and Map)

(revised) An area built on landfill from the original World Trade Center site and sand from Staten Island, Battery City is home to thousands of residents who live in the dense apartment buildings along the west side of Lower Manhattan. The promenade next to the water, with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Jersey shore, and the cool esplanade of trees in a stretch of the southern section make for a particularly satisfying walk.



The slideshow displays images in sequence from south to north, beginning at the Battery on the south, just to the west of the Staten Island Ferry landing, and proceeding north. The northern section lines up approximately with Chambers Street and the western section of the Tribeca neighborhood. Clicking on the points on the map will indicate the location for most of the images.


Memorials line the walkway, including the East Coast WWII Memorial, Merchant Mariner's Memorial, Living Memorial to the Holocaust, and Irish Hunger Memorial.

Image…

A Walk for Melville: Coenties Slip to Corlears Hook (A Slideshow)

How's everyone doing with reading Moby Dick? WOTBA's summer reading requirement only involves the first chapter, so don't feel like there's too much pressure. Based on a sole phrase in Chapter 1, "Loomings," - Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall northward. What do you see? - I ventured forth today to walk the walk, so to speak, but in opposite order, from Coenties Slip to Corlears Hook.

Starting out, I took the 4 subway to Bowling Green and walked south to Pearl Street, then meandered until I located the spot of Melville's birth. Then, after finding what's left of Coenties Slip (now with a little urban park, a sculpture and the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial), I crossed South Street so I could walk along the water north to the Lower East Side.

A few things of note: Most of the views here are of the East River and attractions such as the South Street Seaport but al…

Before the Whale: Ishmael Takes a Walk in Manhattan

Herman Melville, born at 6 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan (the house is no longer there, though a plaque marks the spot), opens the first chapter of his epic 1851 novel, Moby Dick, or, The Whale, on his hometown island. The narrator, who famously asks us to call him Ishmael in the opening line, introduces the tale of the whale by ruminating on the basic human longing for the water and the cure for his own melancholia by returning to the sea. In the second paragraph he establishes the location of the opening drama:

"There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs - commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme down-town is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.

Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coe…

A View of the Empire State Building from DUMBO, and Cuisine Notes from the Memorial Day Weekend

Walking along Front Street and crossing the intersection at Washington Street, an area between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge on the Brooklyn side of the East River, the Empire State Building makes a cameo appearance under the Manhattan Bridge's supporting arches. Several people stopped to take pictures, because the way the building can be seen through the bridge is rather perfect.

Cuisine Notes from the Memorial Day Weekend

After peering in the Telectroscope at the Fulton Ferry Landing, the colonel* and I wandered around DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in search of lunch. Finding the line too long for us at the famous Grimaldi's Pizza (restaurant website), we opted to stroll until we found something we liked. We found Front Street Pizza (Menu Pages website) quite to our liking, each ordering a slice and splitting a smaller pizza roll with spinach and mozzarella.

Because the weekend coincided with my birthday, I gave myself carte blanche to buy a b…

The Telectroscope at the Fulton Ferry Landing

Born of artist Paul St. George's fascination with the spectacular inventions of the late 19th century, the Telectroscope, one in New York at the Fulton Ferry Landing near the Brooklyn Bridge, and the other in London at Tower Bridge on the south side of the river, does look like something out of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. Inventing an imaginative back story, St. George credits his great-grandfather for discovering a method for distant viewing by means of a tunnel in the Atlantic Ocean.

The very real "illusion" is uncanny. Though I knew in advance that the device uses internet cable that transmits fast video, as I looked through the human-size scope at the people gathered on the other side in front of the Tower Bridge, I immediately suspended my disbelief. Wow! Those are Londoners I'm seeing in real time by means of a giant subterranean Atlantic tunnel. No tricks! No Internets!

After visiting the Telectroscope this past Sunday morning, just part of a fun sun-filled Memor…

Memorial Day Weekend, Fleet Week, and the Brooklyn Bridge Turns 125

This Memorial Day weekend (May 24-26, 2008), with Monday a holiday, coincides with Fleet Week (May 21-28, 2008). In this annual tradition, active military ships dock in port for a week, and the sailors debark for a little R & R. The public, in turn, is invited to come down and look at the boats. An event that started in San Diego in the 1930s, the New York Fleet Week began in 1984. Yesterday afternoon, I watched sailors in crisp white uniforms as they walked past my building on the way uptown. It was like something out of the movies. Of course, sailors have frequently enjoyed New York while on leave, and I'm sure variations of this tradition go back hundreds of years.

Memorial Day weekend and Fleet Week are joined this year by the 125th celebration of the Brooklyn Bridge. Festivities surrounding this important architectural landmark include an outdoor film series (some indoors, too), guided walking tours, music, and dancing. NewYorkology provides a comprehensive list of events…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Further Explorations of the lower Lower East Side

I'm wrapping up the walk in the Lower East Side today, and if you've been following along, I veered toward the lower parts of the neighborhood and never walked back to the northern streets. I had every intention of walking the streets north of Delancey, but these streets around East Broadway caught my imagination. The Forward building, with its Jewish socialist publishing history, the Henry Street Settlements, the remaining Jewish bakeries, Seward Park, the Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Chinatown street, and more - these places are off the beaten path and not yet fully caught up in the wave of hipsterdom that marks so many Lower East Side streets to the north. Not yet.

Two other places of note here, because they're still vital institutions of the contemporary Jewish community: Mikvah of the East Side (311-313 East Broadway), a 1904 Beaux Arts building, once the Young Men's Benevolent Association and later the Arnold Toynbee House and the Grand Street Settlement. The…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Henry Street

Henry Street was quiet when I visited. It's hard to imagine that the entire Lower East Side was once the most densely populated place on earth. At the peak of immigration into New York, the number of extended families living in cramped conditions in unsafe tenements buildings created conditions of extreme social stress. Walking past the Henry Street Settlement buildings (there are several stretched out over the neighborhood), I thought how tough it must have been for the immigrants and for the social workers like founder Lillian Wald. If I had grown up here under these conditions, all I would think about was how to get out.

The settlement associations still respond to the needs of the neighborhood residents, because those never go away. In fact, New York now has the greatest number of immigrants and foreign born (about 37%) since 1910, but many of the new residents live in homogeneous neighborhoods in other boroughs of the city. Chinatown is still expanding, but the older ethnic e…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Seward Park and the Branch Library

When Seward Park opened at Essex and Canal in 1903, it became the first permanent, municipally built playground in the United States. Shady, quiet, and peopled by residents of the multi-cultural neighborhood, the park is a nice place to sit and have lunch. On the south side of the park, there's a little statue of a dog, Togo, who, according to the NYC Parks website on Seward Park, "played a heroic role in the 1925 dash to bring an antidiptheria serum to Nome, Alaska." Fancy that. Way to go, Togo! I learned about the little EMS dog while firing up my laptop in the park, thanks to the free Wifi leaking from the Seward Park branch library. Several years ago, the park went through a major reconstruction, adding many new features, including new fencing and planting.

To get a good sense of New Yorkers in their habitats or to experience the flavor of a neighborhood, I highly recommend visiting the branch libraries. I go to these branch libraries to check out books and to read, b…

Walking Off the Lower Side: Bagels, Rugelach, and Cupcakes

And isn't a great neighborhood half about the bakeries? What's the Lower East Side without these? While out walking along Grand Street and East Broadway on the Lower East Side this morning, I couldn't help myself from wandering into the local bakeries and picking out a little something to take home. Or a few somethings. Another reason why I have to walk so much.

Several of the shopkeepers struck up a conversation with me. They first of all wanted to know where I was from, and after I explained that I was from way yonder west in "the Village," I guess that sufficed for an answer. I must have that unique West Village accent...er...uh, y'all.

Kossar's Bialys, 367 Grand Street. Just to sample, a sesame bagel and a garlic bialy.

Moishe's Bakery, 504 Grand Street. I wanted a little of everything, but I decided to restrain myself by settling on a lone large chocolate pastry that's somewhere between a rugelach and a babka. I was told I made a really good cho…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: A Mural, a Movie Theater, and a Question

(Note: See update following post.)

I returned to the Lower East Side this morning to explore some lingering questions and to walk areas farther to the south and east. But I also wanted to return in order to ponder something I saw a few days ago, a large mural on Ludlow Street. It's on the east side of the street between Hester and Canal.

I'm taken with it on an aesthetic level - I think it's beautiful, but I can't seem to find any information about it. What are we looking at? Several orange-red spotlights, originating from an opening on the fire escape half-way up, beam out to project several scenes of figures in various activities. In the top spot, a teacher stands behind rows of seated children. She's beside a movie projector, so we can assume, of course, that they're watching a movie. Below her, a teacher is leaning over a young girl to help her run a sewing machine. In another spotlight, an adult stands with a child and points at something in the distance. …

The Lower East Side, Now on National Trust for Historic Preservation's Endangered List

A timely announcement today, as the National Trust for Historic Preservation announces its 2008 List of America's 11 Most Endangered Places. On the list with WOTBA's beloved modernist mid-century Statler Hilton Hotel in downtown Dallas, the Michigan Avenue Streetwall in Chicago, the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia, among others, we find on the endangered list the entire LOWER EAST SIDE of New York.

Sad but true. Over the past week, as I've walked the historic streets, I see the physical reminders of the area's immigrant history succumbing to reckless, thoughtless redevelopment.

It has to stop. There's no enforcement power that comes with today's announcement. The fact that the National Trust added the Lower East Side to the list of endangered places just raises awareness. There's no enforcement power with the designation.

Pretty soon all that will be left of LES is marketing new hi-rise glass condos with slogans like "Come live high above the unique area whe…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: The Forward Building on E. Broadway

The Forward newspaper, a Yiddish language news publication that advocated democratic socialism, played an important role in immigrant life on the Lower East Side. At the peak of its circulation in 1912, the paper built a striking ornate ten-story Beaux Arts building at 175 East Broadway, one that loomed over its neighbors and one that could compete ideologically with a 12-story bank building two blocks away on Orchard St.

As I was walking south in Seward Park the other day, I spotted the handsome building and walked toward it to take some pictures. A man saw me taking an an interest in the building, so he stopped to chat. He pointed out the name Forward that graces the sides of the structure and explained that the letters on top, in Hebrew, spelled out Forward also. He said that after the paper moved out of the building, it became the home for a Chinese evangelist church and now it's a loft-style condo building.

From street level it's possible to see four relief portrait busts …

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Hester Street - The Slow Fade to Shade

Crossing Delancey, I walked south on Essex to Hester Street, a short thoroughfare that became one of the important centers for the Jewish immigrant community in the Lower East Side a century ago. Fading as a center of Jewish life, the area around Hester now blends the mixed multicultural heritage of many cultures, including Chinese and Yuppie. Gertel's Bakery, a longtime favorite for rugelach, closed at 53 Hester in 2007, a departure that signaled for many another stake in the heart of old New York. In its stead is a planned 12-story residential structure, once again controversial in its scale. Down the street is a cafe named "brown" (its very subtlety of name reads "gentrifying presence of the post-grad academic") that I decided not to hate, if only because the coffee was good and everyone in there reminded me of myself.


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Now, along Hester Street, as opposed to 100 years ago, there are trees. It took me a while to realize that the sudden softened …

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Essex & Delancey, Ludlow & Broome

I walked deep, deep, deep into the Lower East Side today, the second of two long walks. This morning I set out to the neighborhood from my place in Greenwich Village, strolling east on Bleecker, then south on Bowery to E. Houston, east one block past the Whole Foods Market, and then south on Chrystie. I crossed over the park to Rivington, stopped at the University Settlement at the corner of Rivington and Eldridge, pulled my camera out of my bag to take a picture and nothing happened. I left the battery in its recharger at home. Bummer. I really wanted to take pictures today. I lowered my head and walked home.

Later today, I decided to take the F train to Delancey and then walk around from there. Emerging from the subway at Essex and Delancey, I beheld the scene you see to the left - the Essex Street Market and corner pizza place at the bottom and the condo development known as Blue rearing its irregular geometries in the background. Here's the Lower East Side in a nutshell - the m…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: A Block on Eldridge St.

Wandering down the southernmost block of Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side, just south of Canal Street, I found a long stretch of Chinese businesses along the west side of the street, and across and down the way the newly-restored Eldridge Street Synagogue next to more Chinese stores. The street itself slopes slightly downward and ends under the Manhattan Bridge. This last block possesses that Dead End Street quality that fires the imagination (here, a link to an earlier post about the Dead End Kids of the East River), and so it's perhaps fitting that the author Richard Price would set his Lower East Side crime novel, Lush Life, in such a dead-end place.* But it's certainly not dead.

I was sorry I arrived on this block too early to try a fish ball at Young City Fish Balls, but I thought that if I ever wanted to start a band, that would be the name of it. This section of Chinatown/Lower East Side is particularly Fijianese, and the food available here, like the fish ball, is…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Orchard Street Highlights

After reeling from the shock of construction sites along Orchard St. just south of E. Houston, as noted in the previous post, I calmed down long enough to enjoy the less disrupted blocks farther south. Some places of note, including a few art galleries, an increasingly more visible part of the Lower East Side landscape, listed from north to south:

• Charbon Epicerie: a convincingly French cafe; the door is through the Tabac Shop. 170 Orchard St.
• Guitar Man, 147 Orchard St.
• The Orchard Building. 140, 142. Beautiful ornate apartment building that could use some exterior preservation.
• Altman Luggage, long-established store. 135 Orchard St.
• Beckenstein signage. Fabric store established in 1919. According to Barry Popik's Big Apple website, The song "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long" (1932) probably refers to Sam Beckenstein.
• The Bean Coffee & Tea. 118 Orchard St. Free Wifi.
Blue Moon Hotel. 100 Orchard St. Upscale boutique hotel with large rooms and luxurious amenit…

Walking Off the Lower East Side: Anxiety and Permanence on Orchard St.

Walking the block of Orchard St. south of E. Houston early this afternoon, I started experiencing not so much the anticipation of discovery as the anxiety of place. The buildings that I thought were along in here were no longer here, and in their stead were some new buildings and construction sites of buildings yet to come. I'm having a hard time remembering what the old places looked like, and I can't imagine what the new buildings are supposed to be.

I've spoken with several people about the kinds of neighborhood changes they see in rapidly changing places like the Lower East Side, and they share with me this regret over not being able to remember the places that we may have taken for granted but are now gone. I'm not opposed to change, nor do I mourn every single building that's torn down, but I do worry when the connection between place and memory, especially when it's personal, becomes disrupted.

May I also remind readers that I come from a very different pl…

Walking Off the Lower East Side

I'm at Sugar Café at the corner of Allen St. and E. Houston St., a 24-hour cafe that's been open a little more than a year. A long narrow joint that best accommodates parties of one or two, the west wall consists of retractable glass doors that open up in season and the interior walls are painted bright white. The scrambled eggs, toast, and potatoes cost $3, and the coffee is strong enough.

I plan to walk through the Lower East Side this week, guiding my feet with only the vaguest of agendas. I want to pay attention to small things, the details, vignettes, and cameos that may help unveil this area to me. I'll know what I'm looking for when I find it.

Though I decided to eat breakfast at Sugar in advance, that's mostly the extent of pre-planning. Except for 27 Eldridge. I'm reading Richard Price's new novel Lush Life, enjoying the author's portrayal of the Lower East Side, and that specific address is critical to the plot. Don't worry, no spoilers a…

WOTBA's Walking News Digest: "Walking Away," Walking for Beginners, and Amy Winehouse

Time for the roundup of global walking news. I like to report the best of the world's walking stories as a transition between walks. Last week I walked around Central Park, enjoying the flora and fauna and the park's free Wifi. I also walked 28.7 miles, according to my pedometer, but subtracting dog walks and going to the grocery store, I may have only walked 10 miles inside the park.

It's raining mightily in Manhattan today, but as the clouds clear as promised tomorrow, I intend to wander around the Lower East Side in search of entertainment, art, food and culture.

• The Municipal Alliance Committee in Brick Township, New Jersey organized a project for the residents of Brick to collectively walk 25,000 miles, the equivalent of the journey around the Earth, in three months. They just recently walked the final mile. APP.com (Asbury Park Press) April 29, 2008.

• WOTBA has taken note of the increasing use of the phrase "walking away" to describe the abandonment of home…

Walking in Central Park: Recommendations and Links to the Walks

• Recommended Places to Go Online in Central Park: The following hot spots, courtesy of the Park Wifi, are excellent choices for working online while enjoying Nature, as noted in earlier posts:

1. under the wisteria next to the Rumsey Playfield, near the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.
2. the Delacorte Theater, near the Shakespeare Garden and Belvedere Castle.
3. the Harlem Meer, near the Dana Discovery Center.

• Recommended Place for Casual Dining in Central Park: The Boathouse. Coming off a walk in the Ramble, I was glad to come upon the Boathouse and hang out at the outdoor bar for a glass of wine. The food choices are varied, and the place has that casual elegant vibe. Now high on my list for out-of-town guests.

• Recommended Place to Stroll on One Day: from the Pond at the southeast corner (near Grand Army Plaza) up to the Shakespeare statue (parallel to 66th St.), then north on the Mall to the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, up the east path to the Boathouse, from the Boathouse northwe…

Central Park: Mapping Catch-and-Release Blogging on Day 4 in the Park

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I'm still marveling that it's possible to fish and blog at the same time at the Harlem Meer on the far northeast corner of Central Park. But that's not the only thing I observed on my fourth and final day of Central Park excursions this week. The northern part of the park features some of those walk-about vistas that transport the strolling spectator into the regions of the sublime landscape. There's method in the landscape architecture. This section of the park, at least when I visited yesterday, seemed far away from the visitor-heavy areas farther south and more a place for the surrounding neighbors. That makes sense, because I don't think many tourists come to New York to fish.

As the map shows, I only walked through a limited area of the northern quadrant, and so I'm looking forward to visiting again, especially the Conservatory Garden along the east side of the park. Still, I liked sitting on the edge of the Harlem Meer and being able to look…

Central Park: My New Temporary Office on the Harlem Meer

Let's talk about ducks.

Fellow NYC bloggers, forget the link bait, because at the Harlem Meer, a serene pool of water at the far northeast corner of Central Park, it's possible to fish and blog at the same time. The rule of fishing here is catch-and-release, and the free Wifi provided by the park seems to be working fine. I'm writing from the edge of the water, just outside the Dana Discovery Center, but I should point out, in the interest of accuracy, that I am not currently fishing. The point is that I could if I wanted.

So, here on Day 4, around 4:45 p.m., I've now completed several walks throughout the park. This afternoon, I took the C train uptown to 103rd and then walked east through some of the prettiest parts of the park I've seen so far, areas known as the Pool, the Loch, and the North Woods. Here one sees more falling water features, naturalistic landscapes, and streams than in other parts of the park. While walking in the woods, I felt far, far, far away …

Central Park: Mapping Walks from Day 3 in the Park

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Ah, yes, the walk around the Reservoir. I would like to be a runner and run around the Reservoir. Sometimes I jog. Mostly I walk. What you see here before you is the aerial view of the Reservoir (a good French word) in Central Park, and I can assure you that it's flat as a pancake. Otherwise, the water would all tip out. I walked around the Reservoir yesterday, reluctantly as I noted, and so enjoyed going back to the Delacorte Theater though there weren't any plays in progress.

A word or two for those who might enjoy running around the Reservoir - signs posted there indicate that jogging, walking, running should be conducted in counter-clockwise fashion. Fortunately, anyone finding the jog, walk, or run tedious like me can bail out at regular intervals and join the slower paced crowd along the bridle path. In addition to walking, I'm sure I would enjoy riding a horse through the park. By the way, Olmsted and Vaux, the park's designers, were reluctant to …

Central Park: Walking Relunctantly Around the Reservoir

This would be the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir between 86th and 96th in Central Park, and I just walked around it. Several people were out walking around this large body of water, but most were running for some reason. Many runners passing me were outfitted with heart monitors, expensive running shoes, and portable MP3 players, and I felt kind of out of it, as I was wearing a prom dress and carrying a MacBook. Just kidding about the prom dress.

I like walking, but I find strolling around the reservoir 90% tedious. Several times I ventured down to the nearby bridle path and walked sections along in there. It's more leafy. Over on the east side of the park, I thought about ditching the whole effort and going to one of the museums that line the park on the east, maybe the Cooper-Hewitt. But I moved on. On the northwest side, I walked down to the tennis courts and thought how much fun it would be to play tennis again, perhaps in a prom dress, and then I walked back up to the re…

Central Park: The Landscape as Painting, and the Landscape Photograph

Leaving the Boathouse yesterday, I snapped this photo of the boaters on the water, and later, as I was looking at it, the image reminded me of a 19th century landscape painting. That's by design. Olmsted and Vaux, in designing Central Park, created vistas that would resemble paintings, like the ones by their friends in the Hudson River School. They designed Central Park with the notion that city dwellers would encounter the sublime as they walked around different areas of the park.

Photographers in the 19th century often borrowed compositions from landscape painters, framing their shots in similar ways. In looking at the image above, I think I must carry around with me similar preconceptions of the sublime landscape and how it should be conventionally composed. In addition, my camera is an older Nikon CoolPix, so the resolution and focus is not nearly as crisp as in newer models. I've also dropped it a couple of times, and I don't know what that's done. This lack of def…

Central Park: Mapping Walks from Day 2 in the Park

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Today, as part of this week's focus on Central Park, I will shift my attention northward to The Reservoir and to the larger area between 81st and 96th Streets. I plan to again file posts from the Wifi locations in the park, mostly likely from the Shakespeare Garden, the nearest spot at the south end of the area. The garden is pretty enough. The only drawback I've found in taking a laptop to work in the park is the occasional stream of falling cherry blossoms.

The walk yesterday was ideal - from the garden to the Ramble and then the Loeb Boathouse, a modest stroll of perhaps 1.5 to 2 miles inside the park. In getting to the park, walking to the B or C subways that run up and down the west side of the park, climbing the steps inside subway stations, I'm averaging about 4 miles with these excursions. That's part of the master plan, because I'm trying to fit into a slimmer summer. Riding to the park on the subway, I read all the Weight Watchers ads posted…

Central Park: Refreshment Break at the Loeb Boathouse

When I emerged from the stroll in the Ramble, just described in the previous post, I emerged at the Loeb Boathouse where I saw many happy campers taking a needed break on this fine spring afternoon in Central Park. Why, on earth, should I walk to the Met today for a cup of tea when a glass of pinot grigio right here would do just fine?

So, in addition to my previous recommendations to bring along bottled water and a map of Central Park, tuck away $10 for these kind of post-wandering-in-the-woods emergencies.

After soaking in the Boathouse and watching the boaters out in the water, I realized I was just east of the Bethesda Terrace, and that, of course, the Terrace was near the wisteria-covered arbor, the Wifi place where I filed the posts from yesterday. That's where I am now. How convenient.

Tomorrow, more walks in Central Park, as I shift the walks north toward the Reservoir. I'm going home now, although I must say that I'm getting attached to the new workplace.

Image: at th…

Central Park: Wandering in The Ramble

After leaving my temporary office in the Shakespeare Garden, I walked up to Belvedere Castle, a "folly" in the world of Victorian gardening, and then through the natural ecosystem known as The Ramble. Without any predetermined path, and that's the only way to walk here, I wandered through this intentionally natural part of the park. Still, several people were squirreled away in The Ramble, mainly birders with binoculars around their necks, and I came across several solitary souls sitting on benches. Many were dressed in pastel sports shirts, so they seemed like Easter eggs.

Because the Ramble works in mysterious ways, I wandered over the Azalea Bridge, near the area you see here, and then made my way east. I emerged at the southeast corner of the Ramble at the Loeb Boathouse. Once there, I decided to set aside my original intention of drinking tea at the Met for something else. I will explain soon enough.

Image: The Ramble, near the Azalea Bridge, Central Park, approx. 2:1…

Central Park: Today's Office In the Shakespeare Garden

If you're in New York right now and you need to do some work online and you can leave the office, check out this place. I'm in the Shakespeare Garden, just up the steps from the location of this picture. Belvedere Castle is to my right and up another small flight of stairs. The Delacorte Theatre, home to the New York Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park, is just to my north, and is the source of this Wifi signal. I'm sitting on a bench made out of tree limbs.

I took the C subway to 81st, at the stop for the American Museum of Natural History, walked east along a pathway next to the Diana Ross Playground, and then over to the Delacorte. Do you need to go back now and re-read the Diana Ross Playground part? I would.

Today's plan is to hang out here, catch up on emails, make notes about films, and then wander around The Ramble, take pictures inside The Ramble (I'll explain later), and then walk east and north through Cedar Hill to the Met. I don't plan on seeing …