Thursday, July 23, 2009

a city grows

I'm back in California and happy to be home. Apparently Sadie was only sad for one day after I left and she didn't eat for that entire day. What!? Sadie, not eat! That's unheard of for my dog, but happily, by day two her appetite resumed and she could be found with her nose buried deep in her food bowl - sounds about right.

Surprisingly and not surprisingly, New York City has managed to evolve further since my last visit in January. Buildings continue to rise - albeit some are quite empty - and new restaurants have popped up all over. My most exciting discovery though, was the rejuvenation of the old High Line tracks into an elevated public park along the west side of Manhattan. History goes, that a project called the West Side Improvement, was ordered in the 1930's to avoid the escalating death tolls and horrific accidents plaguing unfortunate New Yorkers traveling along 10th & 11th Avenues. A platform, 30 feet high, called the High Line, was built for freight traffic traveling up and down the west side of Manhattan wherein lied the city's largest industrial district. By 1980 the last train ran, and over the years, the fate of the neglected tracks at times uncertain, met some auspicious hands which worked to give the city an amazing oasis of gardens and public space. A luscious garden winding its way 30 feet high through a brick and steel city -New York City never ceases to delight. And staying on the subject, a wonderful children's picture book called, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, tells a similar story with beautiful illustrations that I recommend for any child, or even just if your own curiosity's piqued.

Unfortunately, I never did make it to Books of Wonder during my stay, but with so many things to do while I was there I'm not surprised, time does eventually run out in the city that never sleeps. So, now, with my horizon back to the surrounding hills and vineyards, it's back to work on my new book - but I'm not complaining.

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