In Search of Trees
The very north of Manhattan Island isn’t exactly a hotspot for tourists. At least not the international variety.
As far uptown as you can get before you hit The Bronx is an eclectic collection of artefacts, many European, held by the Metropolitan Museum. I arrived by convenient bus, right to the door of ‘The Cloisters’.
Sat on top of a hill surrounded by herb gardens and trees, it would be more at home in southern Europe than Manhattan.
Much of the collection is architectural and has been built in to the ‘castle’. The European and Italian gardens take you out of the city into a more quiet and contemplative time.
Unfortunately the cold spring meant the flowers were only just managing to push their way through, but it was still a wonderful place to escape the crowds and the bustle of city life.
When you have had your fill of history there is a short walk down the hill and across a street to the next biggest open space to Central Park. Inwood Hill Park. Think of an orange stuff in the end of an empty sock and you will be able to place this Ice Age crafted hill, just where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet, with the rest of the mostly flat Manhattan, falling south.
It is about as wild as it is possible to get in NY, though there are still tarmac walk ways. I met a lady walking her dog and she led me round her considered best bits. I saw no planting, no tidying up of trees. Evidence of Super Storm Sandy was pretty much strewn where it landed, bar the walk ways.
Though told it is far more beautiful in summer when it is all green, the leafless trees meant the views over the rivers to New Jersey and back to the city were only interrupted, not blocked.
At the confluence of the rivers is a tidal mudflat where there are wading birds oblivious of the human proximity and there is even the possibility of spotting a bald eagle nest.
There is more to New York than shopping.