The 1 train spit me out at 242nd Street / van Cortland Park and I found myself in the middle of nowhere. My plan was to explore Riverdale in the Bronx. I had a neighborhood profile showing some places of interest, two historic districts among them. It said “it is easy to get to Riverdale” and told me to take the 1 train to van Cortland Park.
So I was standing there at the most neglected subway station I have ever seen in New York and had no idea where to go from there. The neighborhood profile had mentioned a Shuttle but there was none. I realized I didn’t even have my 5 borough city map with me. How could this happen to me?
What I finally did after thinking about what to do for a while was get on the train again and ride back to Manhattan.
I felt like a treat. I remembered the Hungarian Pastry Shop from a previous trip and thought it was around City College. So I got off there, climbed uphill, thought I could have a coffee and a nice and unhealthy piece of cake and afterwards walk down to Harlem from there – and found out it was not around City College but around Columbia. So I got a bus on Amsterdam to go to Columbia once more. I found the Café at once and got a Latte and a cheese-and-lemon-cake. The Hungarian Pastry Shop is great. It has a huge selection of cakes and pastries, all looking like in paradise. People, mostly students, are sitting at small tables, most of them having a reading light, working on their laptops, reading something or talking. I was reading, one of the new stories.
Just across the street the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is overlooking the neighborhood. It is huge. At the entrance there is a wooden box for donations and a sign says “Thank you for your donation of 10$”. Unmistackable and really modest. Nobody paid.
Right next to the cathedral there is a peace garden with a big state and lots of little panels showing peace related sentences by writers and other artist. A quite and peaceful place.
I had another look at the Columbia tote bag (without buying it) then walked downhill to Riverside Park. It’s just a natural park without any planted flowers, overlooking New Jersey across Hudson River.
Back home and after resting for a while and going through my received critiques, I met Ettice, her brother Andre and Michelle in the living room- They had picked up food and Ettice was mixing her rum based house drinks. I was invited to join them and have one. In the end I think I had four, at least three and we had discussed the world.
That’s why this post is a little bit shorter.
What I learned today:
It’s not easy to go to the Bronx. You should exactly know where you want to go and how you can get there. Or leave it.