Monday, July 30, 2012

OMG!  Another birthday!  (And another Public Walk - look at the bottom of this post!)

Saturday, July 21, was my birthday.  A sort of significant birthday - I'll go into why later (or not!), but I wanted you to hear and see a bit about my day.

First it wasn't in New York City, but, significantly, it was at a place that 100 years ago people from the city visited, and during the "season" sometimes for the whole three months: the Mohonk Mountain House.  Do you know it?  An extraordinary place - and well worth a couple of hours' drive up to New Paltz.  After all, who wouldn't want just an afternoon's vacation?

Here's Jake, my son, gazing up over Mohonk Lake at Skytop 

We had paid a day's fee per person down at the Gatehouse, and were taken up to the Picnic Lodge by their shuttle.  After walking through their garden, which was attractive enough - 
we walked over to the building itself.  Now, Gail, who you see above admired the flowers in the garden, and who is an architectural historian, has very clear ideas about architecture.  You see, what some of us - my son and I, for example - think charming,
Gail feels is awful!  What's this?!  She exclaims.  This pastiche, this conglomeration - this Victorian hodgepodge!!

Oh, Jake and I laughed, stop quibbling! It's Mohonk!

Well, in that case - but ah!  Look at this!

Yes, a day's vacation is something to consider when you live amid all the hubbub and hullabaloo
of New York City.  We began our walk around the lake.

Certainly nothing to carp about here, Jake and I agreed.  The peaceful blue water, the calm sky, and for once a day not plagued with intolerable heat and humidity ....  Ahhh.

Yes, life is good for our inveterate authority on things architectural.  We stroll on around the lake.

Not exactly a beach, but a place one could bring a row boat up to for a little while perhaps, but a view over a "sky lake" - one whose waters mainly come from the sky, although I believe there's a quite adequate spring underneath.  (But I shall have to consult Mohonk and the Smiley family - the owners - about this!)

We rest at one of the many gazebos that are located all over the 2200 acres of the establishment.  Did I say this was a restful day?

Gail presses on, but gradually, gazing out through the trees onto the lake below.

We gain purchase on a somewhat higher ground. 

And now we're perched on one of those ("heinous!") porches, looking down at the beach and the swimming dock for hotel guests.

But we now have begun the walk up to Sky Top!  And can see the Mountain House from on high.  "It's better from up here," Gail volunteers.  Good!

Then, how about from here?  Better yet? 

Now at Sky Top, I'm poised to ascend the steps to the top.  But, alas, not Gail!  She shall await.  Too bad!  She missed this: 
Well, to say that was exhilerating is almost to miss the point: it was extraordinarily relaxing to be away for a day, and to be so high in the sky, to see so far, and to have no hurry, no pressure, no time to worry.

We walked over, once we had descended all the way, to the stables! 

Read the sign!

No problem for Jake!  Say "Cheeze!"

Our Next Public Walk
Yes, our next Public Walk will be on August 4, starting at 10:00am, for two hours, and we will start at Beanocchio's on York Avenue (between E. 75th St. and E. 76th St.).  

"But, where will we walk!?" you ask.  Ah, there's the question! 

We will begin at the new bridge over the FDR Drive to the Promenade along the East River, and walk toward 5th Avenue, along E. 78th Street - but branching off of it frequently to catch interesting sights and bring you all up to date on what's new in the "hood."  Like: 
The Second Avenue Subway 
The Second Avenue Subway! 
To reserve a place on our tour (limited to 12 persons), please register your name and phone number with The Street Teacher  (click on the highlighted words), and please note the following:
Date: August 4, Saturday, 2012
Time: 10:00am 
Meeting Place: Beanocchio Cafe, at 1413 York Avenue.
Length of Walk (hours):
Length of Walk (miles): 1.5
Cost: $20 per person (cash) or $20.75 (credit card)
(Pay at beginning of tour.)
To Reserve: Click here to send e-mail and reserve a spot.  Remember to include your name and phone number!

For information only, call 917-921-9273

Note: If you take the subway, the 6 train will stop at E. 77th Street and Lexington Avenue.  When you exit, walk away from Lenox Hill Hospital and toward 3rd Avenue, and proceed to York and Beanocchio's, between 75th and 76th Streets.  
If you come by bus, the M31 ("Yorktown") will cross town on 57th Street and proceed up York Avenue, and you can exit that at 76th Street, right across the street.  Buses are, of course, liable to be a little slow, so please keep that in mind.  
The Crosstown M79 will stop at York and 79th, just 3 blocks north.