Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Am Thankful I Live By The River

I love water. -And not just because I'm thankful for it ;) I love looking out over an ocean or a river or a lake or a pond. I don't necessarily want to go in the water. I just want to stare at it. Nothing else fills me with as much calmness and awe.

I used to be envious of people who lived on the East Side, because they could walk along the East River any time they wanted. It's true I lived near the Hudson River but there was no way to get to and walk alongside of that. -Or so I thought.

I always thought there was the city, then Riverside Park, then the highway, then a steep drop off, and then the river! I didn't know there was anything on the other side of the highway that was pedestrian friendly -not to mention a way to even safely get across the highway!

What does this look like to you?
Park... highway... drop off... river!

But about 3 years after I moved into this neighborhood (Yes, I'd lived here for over 3 years before I figured this out!) several people insisted that there was a way to get across. Not by going over the highway but by going under it. And one of them finally told me where this supposed underpass was. And of course, it was just 6 blocks away from where I lived!

The secret underpass.
Well... secret to me! Everyone else knew it was there!

I'll never forget the day I finally went in search of the underpass that supposedly led to the river. As I approached what appeared to be the correct tunnel, I still wasn't certain I'd found the right place. But then when I turned the corner and looked through it... Does anybody remember the film "Lost Horizon?" -When they're up in those snowy mountains and they look through the mouth of the secret cave and see the paradise of Shangri-La on the other side? That's exactly what this moment felt like to me.

Rounding the corner.


When I saw the river on the other side of the tunnel, I cried. I really did. The whole experience felt a little surreal. It was as if all of this had suddenly appeared by magic. Because after all, as far as my reality was concerned, I'd lived here for several years and this had never been there before!

I was so transfixed by the water that for a while I just stood there taking it all in... the view, the waves, the breeze, the smells... Then after about 10 minutes or so, I wiped away my tears (I was still crying), took a deep breath, and stepped back to take a look around. And guess what? There was a whole other freaking part of the park on this side of the highway!

There were paths and railings and benches...

There's even a tennis court!

It was like somebody actually wanted us to walk alongside and enjoy the river! So that's what I did. And I've been thankful to the city of New York ever since.



Nora Bee said...

Lovely photos! It makes me nostalgic for my time in New York. I tagged you over at my place! Hope that's ok!

Melissa said...

Um... er... Huh? Lol! (-New to blogging! What's tagging? :) )

RosieBoo said...

I've never been a city girl, but these views of New York make me like it a bit more. :) I'm glad you found your Shangri-La.

Melissa said...

Thank you! And thank you for stopping by rosieboo :)

FYI: (For anyone who's wondering) the buildings across the river are New Jersey -Which we pretty much consider to be part of New York too. We think everything is part of New York! ;)