Friday, April 22, 2011

Walking in springtime

My new laptop had to be returned to Dell ( I know, I know) because its custom cover - my sop to my pride, having wanted a you-know-what-and-not-being-able-to-afford-it, had a CHIP on its shoulder, a really bright orange cover and a small white chip.  An hour's phonecall to India later and India sent me a box from Texas in which to put my brand new Dell. Which we dropped off at the UPS store. Except the label that India told Texas to send to me to put on the box turned out to be...FedEx. So we carried the box home again. And saw the trees above and below, on the way,

Because! Our objective was really Inwood, woods of. Tip of northern Manhattan, which is a long skinny island, you know, in the middle of quite swift--flowing waters.

Zelkova alley, down the road,  looking quite pretty. Now we were headed for the A train.

Poor Frenchie. He can't walk more than a few yards at the moment before he's lost me in his wake. Distracted by blossoms. 

The A train, and many stops later, we were at 207th Street, last stop in Manhattan.  I always forget to time it. I was reading Steve Brill's impossibly titled but helpful book - Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and not so Wild) Places. Steve, who was perturbed to hear that I had swallowed a May apple's pulp late summer and who suggested I call a doctor...In the absence of health insurance I elected to throw up, instead. Well, he does write about eating May apples, yes he does! Nothing about not eating the seeds (the search engine jury is till out on the subject). Still, I like his book, the illustrations are good, and it passed a good 40 minutes of subway time.

A cold wind was whipping off the Hudson and down the Spuyten Duiwel passage, and the meat-on-a stick man was still MIA. Pity. We had been here one year ago exactly.

I shan't chronicle the foraging here, but in a late-arriving spring it was mildly successful and we ate at least three of the plants we found, for dinner. The field garlic was delicious, and now I must make good on my promise and deliver some to a local restaurant, for tasting. There are few dogs up here and none off the beaten path, and the woods seem pretty clean. No Prospect Park litter, here. The ball fields below are full of Latino baseball fanatics, and only the occasional jogger seems to pass through the trees on the paths high above the water.

Back home, a garlicky, rushour-packed subway ride home, a stop at Los Paisanos for some pork to accompany the field garlic and a lamb shoulder for Easter. My Easter is in name only, now, though the St Matthew's Passion, for Good Friday, remains some of the most beautiful music ever written. I think I may have to acquire it.

The home stretch, and Bergen Street in late afternoon light.


  1. Your first picture with the fresh spring growth and the church steeple was perfect for Good Friday. Wish I could eat lamb with you on Sunday.

  2. Hello sad Mommy

    I know. I do miss the humility of Good Friday, the sadness of introspection. The unhysterical consideration that we are not at the centre of the universe. Of believing in something. I think what remains for me is the spirit at the centre of that belief. Not in a person or a god or a creator, but in the inherent power of goodness that resides within each of us, that is there for the asking. And I wish we could eat lamb with you, too. I bet your lamb costs a lot less! Jeepers...

  3. "the inherent power of goodness that resides within each of us". If that doesn't sum up what's right with our lives, I don't know what does. peace.

  4. And favorable to Zelkovas too! ;)

  5. Wonderful pics.

    If you love Inwood, make sure to catch the Moose Hall Theater company performances in Inwood Park during the summer. A wonderful way to spend a summer evening. End or begin with a drink at the Indian Road Cafe, where if you're lucky it may be Opera on Tap Night (open mike opera).

  6. Sorry the meat on a stick man was still MIA, but next time, if you get off at the 215 St. stop (1 train) try the Indian Road Cafe. The pulled pork sandwich is delicious and they have pear cider (slightly hard and very tasty).

  7. beautiful day marie. better than getting a flat tire on our way to get tires which we still don't have. i want a do-over. and i still want to go garlic hunting please.


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