I'm going to start posting some pix from my various outings during this vacation. They're more or less random, as in, reflecting the rare occasions when I thought to take a picture and, further, filtered by how crappily the cell phone photos turned out.
For starters, this.
I hesitate to write about it because it's one of those obscure spots you don't want to become better known in fear of its being overrun, but there's a lovely corner tucked away in, believe it or not, the South Street Seaport that offers a splendid way to while away a summer's afternoon in relative peace and quiet. For free. The Seaport is generally considered a ghastly tourist trap, to be avoided by any real New Yorker, and with good reason. It's replete with garishly tackily fake Ye Olde Harbor crap, with lots of high-priced stores, with very expensive and not very good restaurants. Furthermore, in the summertime it's completely overrun by tourists. You practically have to use your arms to part your way through the throngs of them to make your way around back. To where the Seaport also has, if you know where to find it, a wonderful deck situated right over the East River, furnished with wooden lounge chairs where you can sit. And sit. And sit. Contemplate the waterfront, watch the boats wafting to and fro, gaze across at Brooklyn, ease your pulse down to the rhythm of the drifting current, regard the beautiful beautiful Brooklyn Bridge (pictured here). Read. Nap. Think. Write.
I spent some three hours there one July afternoon. OK, it ain't the country. It's not even Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, where at least you can put the city behind you and look out upon a natural watery prospect. Here you haven't escaped the city. It's all around you. But you can at least, if you time it right and you luck out in terms of noise and crowd, find yourself at a remove, find a way to relax. I managed the feat, and had a lovely afternoon.
Oh--and there's a miniature golf course back there too! Could you just die?