Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm a Country Boy

Gladiolas at the Union Square Farmers Market

Last week we had a "summer Friday" off at the ad agency. I was concerned about the weather forecast calling for rain, but I really wanted to get up to Central Park. I love living in New York City, no doubt about it, but I grew up in upstate New York, and I still definitely need ground, trees, grass, nature around me. Trying to beat the call for rain, I jumped on my trusty blue Schwinn at 10:30am and headed up Sixth Avenue.

One advantage of all the rain this year is that the trees and plants are happily drenched and Central Park is gloriously green and redolent. The Park was surprisingly quiet. I rode my bike through the woods and robins flew ahead of me at eye level showing the way; I felt like I was in a Disney animation movie. Then it started to rain. I was stuck at the north end of the Park, far from home, but the rain stopped. I locked my bike and tried to run around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, but there were puddles on the path from all the rain, making running difficult.

Then it started to rain a second time. I stopped under a tree for shelter, and a girl stopped under a tree on the other side of the path. We both silently waited for the rain to stop in the grey, green, quiet park. Eventually it did, and I was on my way. I rode my bike over West 93rd Street, I think it was, to Riverside Park which runs along the Hudson River. The tall old apartment buildings which curve along Riverside Drive are so beautiful. Riverside Park was also quiet and deserted. It's flat as it runs along the Hudson, with giant trees overhead. I was gliding along all by myself. It really was kind of a dream. I was on the bike for about two and a half hours which was a good work out.

On Saturday TD and I went over to the Union Square Farmers Market which is now in full tilt with lettuces, tomatoes, peaches, berries, you name it.

Carrots, anyone?

Here is the Eliza Doolittle of the Farmers Market.

After the market I went to my yoga class at the Chelsea Piers, and then sat on the sun deck cantilevered over the Hudson River. It really is one of the best views in New York.

At the market, we got flowers and vegetables.

For dinner we had flounder, salad, corn on the cob and potatoes, all from the Farmers Market, all from farms and waters nearby. I love to eat like that.

Growing up in the summertime we used to drive to the farm stands in nearby Clinton, New York, to buy corn on the cob and gladiolas like those pictured at the top of this post. We ate outside a lot in the summer. My father grilled steak and we ate, the six of us, around a picnic table in the back yard. After dinner we played hide and seek and my father found us when we hid in the bushes as night time fell. Corn on the cob and gladiolas are my Proustian madeleines.

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