13 August 2006

Wave Hill

It had been a while since I took a proper long walk, and since Sunday's weather could not have been more perfect, I decided to get myself up to the Bronx to visit Wave Hill. After emerging from the 1 train at the end of the line -- 242nd Street and Broadway, the southwestern corner of Van Cortlandt Park -- I took a left turn on 246th Street, figuring that somehow, though it wasn't clear from the map I consulted how this would happen since the Henry Hudson Parkway was between me and it, I'd be able to get all the way west to Wave Hill.

The Bronx is incredibly hilly. I seemed to have walked up a 45 degree angle the entire length of 246th Street, which winds its way through the private neighborhood of Fieldston. If you want to know where the mythical upscale areas of the Bronx are, here is one. Enormous, but graceful houses on well-tended lawns. There's nothing ostentatious about it, but it's clear this is a very wealthy place. Oddly, I only saw one family, exiting from a minivan; otherwise, no one seemed to be home. I'm not sure what it means that it's a "private" neighborhood -- are these not city streets? I think it means that the private security guards who patrol in unmarked cars could make things uncomfortable if they didn't like the look of you.

Between the hills and the dead ends, it took a while to wend my way to Wave Hill, but it was worth it. Wave Hill is one of the city's hidden jewels. Formerly the summer estate of a succession of prominent families (Teddy Roosevelt spent time there, as did Mark Twain), it's now a series of gardens and greenhouses on gently rolling ground that overlooks the Hudson River.

There's a small woodsy area, and the two manor houses now contain art galleries and educational programs. Most of the other visitors seemed to be regulars, sitting under trees on the wooden chairs scattered on the lawn, reading the Sunday paper.


Anonymous jackie said...

So pretty! I really should get out and explore neighborhoods the way you do. There's so much to see that's unexpected.

3:27 PM  
Blogger PG said...

The Bronx???? I thought that was a big bad dangerous area where you might get mugged or worse? Or have I been watching the wrong films? (Probably...)

It is very lovely, looks like you've still got summer. Here it is rain. And more rain. Britain in August.

5:22 PM  
Blogger tammara said...

Lovely photos. (I love the butterfly. I can never catch shots like that!)

7:37 PM  

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