Thursday, August 09, 2012

Rhapsodies in August: Walking Along the Old Croton Aqueduct

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—In the midst of what turned out to be a busy, busy July, I resolved to make August not only a month of (some) rest, but also one in which I would de-prioritize artistic consumption somewhat in favor of indulging in different forms of recreation: hikes, walks in the park, trips to the beach and so on. As I thought more about this idea, I started to realize that, even though I've lived in New York for close to two years now, there were a lot of things that I still hadn't done. New York has a lot of beaches, for instance, but for the most part, I haven't gotten around to visiting any (well, other than that one time I dared to go to Coney Island on New Year's Day of this year to participate in the annual Polar Bear Club swim). Same with the High Line, Governors Island, Citi Field, City Island, and so on and so forth.

So I'm declaring that August will be the month where I make an effort to fill in some of these recreational blind spots. And since I have this blog, and since this blog is called My Life, at 24 Frames Per Second, I figure I might as document some of these explorations here—for your entertainment, I guess.

First on my list: going upstate to do some nature-walking, which is exactly what I did this past Saturday, taking a Metro-North train to Tarrytown, N.Y., in order to do some hiking along the old Croton Aqueduct Trail. (I got the idea from this article from the site, by the way.) Armed with two bottles of water, sunscreen lotion and an umbrella (weather reports had indicated a chance of rain that day), a friend and I braved hot and humid temperatures and lots of sweat in order to walk five hours, more or less, from Tarrytown to Yonkers along the trail of the old Croton Aqueduct—New York's main source of clean drinking water from the completion of its building in 1842 to 1959.

Along the way, I took a handful of photos on my iPhone:

Tarrytown claims Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving as its native son; thus, you'll see evocations of Sleepy Hollow every so often—like here!

We had to go through the grounds of Lyndhurst Castle—the hunk of awe-inspiring Gothic architecture you see above—to get onto the trail. It was very much worth the detour, though!

There was a short side trail at a certain point called the "Quarry Lane Trail"—taking you to a stone-arch bridge underneath the Aqueduct that still stands today—that we decided to check out. Somewhere around there, this photo was taken (hi, Mónica!).

For all of our effort and strain—plus an annoying bee sting for me—we were rewarded with this shimmering view of the Hudson River overlooking the Greystone Metro-North station. All in a day's work—or, rather, walk!

What will my next recreational adventure be? You will all just have to come back and find out, now won't you?

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