Monday, September 28, 2009

Skunks in the Heights

An article in yesterday's NY Times mentions a growing skunk problem in the Heights and Inwood, specifically in Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Parks. I must say I definitely have noticed the skunk smell a few times recently during runs in the park. There's a bit in the article about some neighborhood dogs getting skunked and possible reasons for the recent migration of the skunks into Manhattan where we were previously skunk-free.

*image courtesy of

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crane on 185th today

One heck of a crane filled up 185th St this afternoon, apparently moving multiple pieces of machinery onto the roof of 165 Pinehurst. Despite the 10 or so men and police officers at the corner, no one even attempted to stop me from wandering up 185th to take a few pictures!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My photos chosen for Schmap! New York Guide

So I got an email recently from a woman who works for Schmap! An interactive guide to the city and she asked if I would mind her submitting 2 of my photos from Flickr for possible entry into their guide so I said sure. Well I got the email on Thursday that they were both chosen and are now in the online and "App" versions of Schmap! New York. Fun. One was a shot of the GWB from below and the other is a shot of some cyclists during the NYC Triathlon. Here are the links to the online version as well as the originals, just for fun.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Apparently there's going to be some crane work on w185th on Sept 27th so they're shutting down the section of 185th between Ft Washington and Pinehurst... in case you missed the 4ft x 4ft orange signs hanging up everywhere.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Swindler Cove Park

After the LRL Festival, we decided it was much to beautiful out to go inside so we hopped on the 1 train up to Dyckman St and walked the few blocks to the new and beautiful Swindler Cove Park on the East end of Dyckman St at Harlem River Dr (10th Ave). As part of the NY Restoration project headed by Bette Midler, the once illegal dumping ground has transformed into something wonderful and serene on the Harlem River. I highly recommend you hop on a bike, a train or your own two feet and check it out. The children's garden featured herbs (the basil smell was intoxicatingly yummy) and tomatoes and huge sunflowers. There was a nice clean bathroom with a kitten sitting outside and picnic tables to sit and rest our feet. After some resting we strolled a little further south to catch a few shots of the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, a new and yet vintage looking community boathouse. There were even a few shells out on the river.

Sunflower in the children's garden

Yum!! My mouth was watering at the prospect of a fresh tomato, basil, mozzarella salad

Walkway over a little pond

Entrance to the Children's Garden

He looks just like my kitty Picasso did 4 yrs ago!

Awesome gate at the entrance to the boathouse
A quad out for a row. I wonder if they're training for the Head of the Charles?

The Little Red Lighthouse Festival

Saturday was the annual Little Red Lighthouse Festival in Fort Washington Park (also known as Riverside park under the GWB). We wandered down around 2pm and enjoyed a delicious Belgian waffle, visited the many tents and sat in the grass to enjoy the musical stylings of John Oliver and the Distinguished. There was a book reading of the children's book "The little red lighthouse and the great grey bridge" as well as tons of other stuff for the kiddies to do. I thought it was a lot of fun and saw plenty of familiar faces. If you have kids it was definitely THE place to be.
The festival was set up near the "165th St" ramp to Riverside park and was jamming up the greenway which definitely ticked off a number of cyclists out for a ride. We saw one collision on the big hill leading up to 181st by a less than courteous cyclist who thought it was better to try to fight her way up the hill and through the crowds ON the bike. I found that I had no sympathy for her when she fell over (she was fine)... its just common sense to get off and walk the bike up a steep hill like that when there are crowds of families. But I digress.... here are the pictures!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Toronto Film Festival

A recent release at the Toronto Film Festival "La Soga" by directors Josh Crook and Manny Perez was filmed in The Heights and DR. A long-time resident of WaHi, Manny Perez also co-wrote, produced and starred in "Washington Heights", a 2002 film that won him an award for Best Actor at the Milan Film Festival.
An article in Times People magazine brought this new film to my attention, you can check it out here: Toronto Film Festival

Harlem 5-mile Race this Saturday

The Harlem Renaissance 5-Miler is this Saturday September 19th. This is a small local race that raises funds for educational programs in Harlem. It is part of an event dedicated to promoting health awareness, family and positive well-being. Go to for info.
Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Northern Manhattan Parks events

I can't wait for this weekend- the Little Red lighthouse festival is on Saturday! I've been wanting to go for years and I keep missing it. I hope the weather is okay..
Anyhow, here are some more things going on. Sorry for the sporadic posts, the beginning of the school year is always a bit hectic. Things will settle down soon enough.

Northern Manhattan Parks Programs & Events

This week, Northern Manhattan Parks has two special events on its roster of FREE programs. Don't miss Mike Feller's Dusk Nature Walk in Fort Tryon Park and the Little Red Lighthouse Festival in Fort Washington Park.

To see complete details about any program, simply click on that program's title.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dusk Nature Walk with Mike Feller
6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Location: Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Category: Nature, Tours
Cost: Free

Astronomy in Fort Tryon Park
8:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Location: Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Category: Education, Kids, Nature
Cost: Free

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fitness Walking Programs in Fort Tryon Park
7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.
Location: Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Category: Athletic Events
Cost: Free

Summer Yoga in Inwood Hill Park
6:15 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Location: Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Category: Athletic Events
Cost: Free

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mike Feller's Inwood Hill Park Nature Walks
8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Location: Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Category: Nature, Tours
Cost: Free

Fitness Walking Programs in Fort Tryon Park
8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Location: Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Category: Athletic Events
Cost: Free

Wildflower Walk
10:00 a.m.
Location: Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Category: Education, Nature, Tours
Cost: Free

Little Red Lighthouse Festival
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: Fort Washington Park, Manhattan
Category: Education, Must See Events, Tours
Cost: Free

Inwood Astronomy Programs
8:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Location: Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Category: Education, Kids, Nature
Cost: Free

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Garden Walking Tours in Fort Tryon Park
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Location: Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Category: Nature, Tours
Cost: Free

High Bridge Water Tower Tours
1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Highbridge Park, Manhattan
Category: Cultural, Education, Tours
Cost: Free


  • Sunday, October 4, 11:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. - 25th Annual Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park (Rain date Oct.11)
  • Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., openhousenewyork in Fort Tryon and Highbridge Parks
  • Sunday, October 18, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Uptown Treasures in Fort Tryon and Highbridge Parks

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Riding in Style

I've never seen seats like these before on the A train, but now I will actively seek them out in the mornings, how perfect for resting an elbow you can snooze with your chin in your hand? :)
Its like a loveseat on the subway.
Hope you're having a great week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Change is in the air for Bennett Park

A design plan has been made for Bennett Park Capital Reconstruction that I think sounds great! The fact that the lawn and rocks are fenced off merely makes them more appealing to the kids and many of the improvements mentioned will make it a more community friendly place to hang out. This is from the parent and me yahoo group:

About six weeks ago I wrote to this list about the scoping meeting for Bennett Park. The designer has since come up with a draft plan. It won't be possible to do everything needed within the budget currently allocated, so the first phase includes the following:
- paving over the asphalt on the south end with a soft poured surface, so that it's conducive to ball play and bike riding. The outline of the original fort will be re-emphasized. This would also be the area where performances could be held.
- reformatting the lawn so that the big rocks become a natural play feature, and are not fenced off.
- installing a small sprinker in the area behind the field house
- inclusion of a dog pit (not a dog run) in the southwest corner. (Parks is open to discussion of a dog run, but would need an organized dog assn that would be willing to maintain it *and* do the leg work to get buy-in from the surrounding buildings. So far no such group exists.)
The plans for this phase will be presented at the CB12 parks meeting on Tuesday.
Future plans call for re-doing the field house so that there's storage for things like Harvest Fest supplies, and locating it where it will provide bathroom access for seniors *and* improve sight lines within the playground. The playground area will be enlarged, and the hope is to get funding to have unique play euqipment installed (preferably with a fort theme, in keeping with the historic nature of the park).
For those who have a keen interest in how this all unfolds, perhaps it is time to revive Friends of Bennett Park. The equipment at Bennett is in relatively good shape, so that's not going to be the #1 priority for Parks (nor should it be, given the sad shape of some other parks). However, if we want to keep this *a* priority and moving along in the capital queue, we'll need to advocate for it. I've done Friends groups before, so if there are folks who want to work on this, email me. I'd be glad to facilitate an initial meeting, and introduce you to the people you need to know.

Does anyone know what a dog pit is? If so, please enlighten me! (I have cats.... we don't play in parks... and here's why: Cat Run )

Have a great Labor Day weekend!