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.

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