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1.05.2011

getting to know manhattan.


new york was awash in tourists this holiday season. and when i say new york i really mean midtown--for it is midtown to which the tourists flock. to see the tree at rockefeller center. to see times square and its countless billboards. to see the lights and tall buildings. 

and i get it. i do, i get it.  and yet a part of me wants to shout out to them: no, this is not it. not here. this is not new york!

you know that scene in funny face where audrey hepburn sneaks off to an underground cafe? and it's dark and infused with smoke and she dances wildly to beatnik music surrounded by frenchmen wearing berets? well. take away the smoke. and transplant it here across the atlantic. and well, i suppose that's the new york i'm always in search of. 

(when in new york i want to eat at  restaurants i'll find nowhere else in the world. and see things that will never be replicated on some las vegas strip).

but i suppose that says more about me than the city. 

you know where i'd tell the tourists to go? where i'd suggest you might explore?  the parks. to riverside. and fort tryon. to central park, yes. and the conservatory gardens. and as of today, inwood hill.

my lovely friend kate and i headed to inwood (the northern-most part of manhattan) to wander around it's 196.4 acres (which they say looks not so different than when peter minuet bought the island from the dutch all those years ago). i've always wanted to go but been hard pressed to find a friend willing to make the trek. not kate. she was up to it--she's always up for a little adventure (and it certainly doesn't hurt that she's one of the funniest and most intelligent friends i have). 

the park was aglow with orange. snow still on the ground. and the hudson glimmering in the distance. and all city, you know? still new york. still manhattan. 

kate pointed out deer tracks and we talked as girls do who haven't seen each other in a year. and january got a little bit better. and manhattan gets cell service everywhere (even in the middle of a natural forest). 

inwood hill

forest

hudson river in the distance

kate tracking deer tracks

little bit of a glow

the bronx in the distance

29 comments:

Ashley said...

i love to see the different sides of nyc!! It's very hard to believe that this is still in the city limits. i love how you can find places like this... bits of green among the buildings. =) thanks for sharing!

Miss E said...

What a lovely little adventure! I can't wait to visit New York one day. I'm sure I'll do all the normal touristy things, but I would also dearly love to see the city's underbelly.

20 York Street said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I still haven't been to New York. I really should go SOON!

besos,

ML
Happy, Happy New Year!

20 YORK STREET

A Serenade for Solitude said...

Beautiful shots. It looks like it was the perfect day for an outing, too. I need to get back out there. Husband and I spent our honeymoon there 5 years ago, and my best friend lives there now. There really is no reason to not visit!!

Jay said...

great photos meg :)

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

I love your photos! I'm heading to New York next Christmas actually, and was going to do all of the toursity 'looking at the tree and lights stuff'. I'm glad you mentioned other places to go, I hate traveling and never seeing anything of the real culture.

jillian m. said...

i 100% agree with you! i'm not knocking it, but times square and rockefeller center are just way too overrated (and very tourist trappy). oh and 34th st is a nightmare, too. i had the most miserable time trying to make my way through those crowds on my way out of work.

ny parks are absolutely gorgeous (which is why i love love love ny in the summer). and i would definitely recommend that to anyone looking to visit (and locals, too). the best restaurants always turn out to be the holes in the wall or places that not a lot of people know about. i heart ny! great post!

Mackenzie said...

so so gorgeous! i knew this kind of nyc was out there when i visited last november. i knew it! i only got to go for 36 hours, but i only say rockefellar, time square, central park. i think this means i need to book another return trip to reaaaaally see nyc :)

M said...

Such lovely pictures! I love finding hidden gems in big cities!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i liked this part the most : and see things that will never be replicated on some las vegas strip.

ps - sooooo when i go to new york i will be contacting you for recommendations...just, fyi.

:)

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i liked this part the most : and see things that will never be replicated on some las vegas strip.

ps - sooooo when i go to new york i will be contacting you for recommendations...just, fyi.

:)

Ana* said...

I like to see everything there is but I agree with you, my friends & me are planning to go to Central Park this summer. I can't wait to have a picnic surrounded by the majesty of the trees.

Micaela said...

I love Innwood Hill Park! I was in New York three years ago and I discovered it on my last day there. It really doesn't seem like you're in New York at all.

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

this is so cool - love the pictures...but have i ever told you that i love the way you write!

have a lovely day, friend. :)

D&D said...

have you been to astoria yet? if not, get yee to the N train and barrel on down to ditmars. eat some greek food at Taverna Kyclades with some girlfriends. trust. me.

SarahAnn said...

So good to have a refuge.

When I lived in London, Regent's Park was just a few blocks from my flat. There was this particular corner that I used to trek to--it was out of the way to be sure, but once I got there, it was mine. All mine.

Joni and Rico Adams said...

I completely agree! New York is one of my favorite places on earth and I love it when a first timer tourist that comes with me says, "Show me New York, I don't need to see all the touristy stuff." Of course I show them Times Square, but then it's off to the burrows to see the real city.

communikate. said...

Wow. That park is beautiful. Something you don't imagine in Manhattan.

I love having locals show me around. Give me the real deal, not the touristy crap. Next time.

Brittan said...

i wish i made it up your way more often. i live near prospect park, so i spend a lot of time there. it's gorgeous, but i wish it were more foresty like this. also, you can't beat views of the hudson. the upper west side is by far my favorite part of new york.

i've recently been discovering wonderful little hidden jazz clubs where big bands play and people swing dance. that's the new york i'd been longing for.

emily said...

how lovely inwood seems.
i am right there with you... living in dc, i get annoyed when people say, "i've seen everything in dc" when all they've seen are the smithsonians and monuments. there is so much more!!
and i love being close to nyc so i can discover more nooks and crannies there.
i guess some tourists don't care much for nooks, though.

*S said...

Gorgeous! One more reason I must visit New York someday.

Suzy said...

Beautiful photos! And I would love to see New York someday, especially this side of it that you describe.

Shorty said...

I would never have guessed there was such a place in such a city. Beautiful.

Michelle said...

I completely agree with you 100%. I absolutely loathe going to 42nd street, yeah the lights are cool but it's not the city when everyone is looking up. Even when people visit NYC they think Manhattan is the only place, when in reality there are four other boroughs to visit and explore. Obviously the city is the main attraction, but there is really so much more to explore even within the city. awesome post!

becky said...

These are the sorts of places that should be visited and if I ever do visit New York (which I hope, every day, that I have courage - and money, and luck - enough to do) I will be sure to give places like this a look. Beautiful, beautiful pictures.

Alex said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I love the "real" side of New York.

Brigitta Ryan {duo} said...

Oh wow so beautiful.
I feel like you'd be so proud of me, I went to NYC for the first time in October, for a week and I only went to mid-town twice! Once to be a tourist exactly as you described and the second because a gig I saw was round there. Tops.

Jennifer M. said...

Gorgeous photos!! Makes me want to visit!

Platypodian said...

wonderful pictures!