Sore feet

I returned home late this afternoon singing the Proclaimers song 500 miles in my head because that’s how far it felt like I’d walked today. But more of that in a moment. We woke at 6am to pouring rain which lasted till around 10.30am when the sun came out and it was searingly hot throughout the rest of the day though the humidity wasn’t so bad.  We’ve come to expect this changeability.

Anyway it’s our last w/e here and I was determined to catch a few more sights before leaving. Carol was happier to do some local retail therapy and Sarah, Ian and the boys were heading to a pool or splash area somewhere. Just as a bit of extra news they just missed out on landing a new apartment up by Central Park but have landed a new Airbnb apartment from which they’ll hunt down the perfect place for themselves and they’ll move in next w/e.  It’s on the Upper West side too in a very nice apartment block we understand. What with all the building work etc I think we’ll all be glad to say goodbye to this apartment. But I’m pleased that’s another tick in the sorted box for the guys.

Anyway I was up for a bit of a tour today. First off I headed up to Morningside Heights – all uphill – and passing lots of street activity as all the local schools are celebrating end of term with walks, concerts etc

I was aiming to go and see Riverside Church which is on Columbia University campus.  It’s very beautiful and one of the churches where Martin Luther King Jr did his preaching…

I was hoping to climb up the clock tower as the bells are reputedly the loudest in the city and the views are to die for. But it was all roped off because of security concerns these days. I used all of my considerable persuasiveness but the church girls weren’t up for a bit of English charm to let me sneak up there. Ah well.

I popped over to photograph Grant’s tomb again – it was one of ther first places I visited here – because they’ve done it all up with Stars and Stripes etc in preparation for 4 July I guess. They do like their flags and bunting here…

It did look impressive though I thought.

Next I wandered through the campus of Columbia Uni which is just delightful. So serene and so conducive to study. Here’s a shot of the impressive Library followed by shots of a little on-campus chapel and several shots on the overpass which straddles Amsterdam Avenue with views up and down it…

You can tell this is an Ivy League college because the overpass (a very wide pedestrian bridge) had some lovely sculptures on it including a piece by Henry Moore called Three Points. I found his signature on the sculpture…

Next up a journey up the subway via the 1 train and the A train to 181st, way up in the upper most reaches of Manhattan. There I got out and ran up the highest series of steps I’ve ever witnessed….

‘Ran up’ might be a bit of an overclaim. My legs were like jelly when I reached the top but it was worth it I think because after a few more blocks I was able to spot then magnificent George Washington bridge over the mighty Hudson River. I just love this bridge…

From here I descended a narrow steep pathway being overtaken at high speed by the biggest crowd of cycle enthusiasts I’ve seen since that Tour De France somehow kicked off in t’Yerkshire. There was a point to this journey down to the riverside because there is this…

It’s a decommissioned  lighthouse which is now an historic monument and it was the subject of a popular children’s book in the 40’s called the Little Red lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. It was a very lovely setting (and look at that bloody magnificent and brutal girder work) and I shared it with a dozen Korean dudes and about 1200 cyclists. All I had to do was climb all the way back up to the subway via 4 major roads including the Henry Hudson Parkway which is like the M5/6 intersection in rush hour. They don’t do sidewalks and pathways  too well along and across their highways here. So a bit of jay-walking was called for.  There quarters of an hour’s climb later I’d made it from riverside to subway. Thank god I’d brought along those pitons and carabiners.

I’m home now and showered and changed. Sarah’s taking us out for dinner tonight and I’m so looking forward to it. Update tomorrow folks. Feet are feeling much better after a soaking. Ahh bliss.




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