Each month Power Tasting features a Place to Visit. It’s in Wine Country somewhere, but is not necessarily wine-related. We’ve taken you to small villages, medieval cities, a trade show and great wine bars. This month, we’d like to suggest that everyone take a very close look at a very special place: your own immediate neighborhood.
We live in Manhattan’s West Village sector. When it’s not raining, we take brief walks and we get to see our neighborhood in a very different way. The streets are almost deserted, both of cars and pedestrians. There are more people in the park than we’d like, so we avoid it most of the time. Some people are wearing masks; most aren’t.
But it’s still New York and it’s still spring. We don’t know a lot about flowering trees but we think Google is telling us that the white ones are calley pear trees and the pink ones are well, pretty pink trees.
We’re walking along streets we don’t usually take. Even though West Street is on one side of our apartment building, we don’t usually walk there because there’s really no place to go. Normally, the traffic on this major artery alongside the river is quite heavy, so a walk amidst the fumes isn’t very inviting. But with the traffic almost all gone, it’s more pleasant, even though there’s still nothing very interesting along it. But with our horizons shrinking in, we have found a little spot where the city has planted a mini-garden and a park bench, sadly often occupied by a homeless fellow. There are a few restaurants we have pledged to try when the city re-opens. And we’re seeing the back end of the Whitney Museum, a view we don’t usually get.
When we have gotten into Hudson River Park on a bright sunny day, we see New York in suspended animation. There’s the biergarten that will hopefully return with warmer weather. An interesting statue of the New York symbol, the Big Apple. The river itself, with fewer boats than usual. Two long piers, one that reaches well into the Hudson and provides stunning views of the city. Remember, all these sights are not more than ten minutes from our door, on foot.
We live along the Hudson River
New York is all about BIG. But these days, we’re seeing New York in miniature. We take the time to notice the 19th century row houses, the cobblestone streets, the tall, new glass-and-steel apartments and the chipping paint on some of the older ones. We know those things were there before but now we’re seeing them as the only parts of outdoors that are readily available to us. Quite frankly, we look forward to the time when we will walk by these things without taking special notice. When we’ll smile at passers-by, not walk into the street to avoid breathing the same air as they do. When we can board a plane and go wine tasting.
It will be better someday. But our neighborhood will always be a place to visit. And then, when you do, you’ll be able to stop in a trattoria for a glass of wine.