Wednesday, September 26, 2007

East River Park (New York)

This walk was longer than I expected it to be, and turned into quite an adventure, especially since I was on the journey with my 2 year old daughter. Luckily we had plenty of water and had our walking shoes on.

Getting to the East River was pretty easy. Long, but it was a straight shot over, and then across one street/bridge and we were there. The difficult part was that we had to go through the lower east side; not that we felt in danger, but there was no place to eat. I take that back. We came across a few places that looked so disgusting from the outside that I didn't want to step one foot inside. So what did we do? We kept walking.

We passed by numerous hospitals, project type housing, and people who looked like they lived a hard life. At this point I have no idea where we were. I'm sure we passed a number of ex cons during the course of our walk as well.

And then we were in China Town. Don't ask me how we got there in a round about way, but I was just so relieved. Food, glorious food, and a place to sit down inside with air conditioning and a cold drink. We stopped inside a large Chinese bakery with all sorts of goodies. The bread with baked Taro inside was so delicious that Astrid and I had two.Then we headed back to the East River Park, which we had originally passed on our quest for a place to stop for lunch.Standing in front of the East River.
Running down to check out the boats.
I can't believe after all that walking, she still has energy to walk and run. The lunch break did give us a second wind though.
This part of the park was pretty run down, but after walking in a concrete jungle for the past few hours, I let Astrid run around on the grass and play.What's more fun than chasing pigeons? Chasing squirrels of course.
This one ran up a tree when Astrid got too close.
The squirrel's up there Mommy!We stumbled onto this outdoor amphitheatre. Again, rundown but it could be a very cool venue. A concert by the river. Astrid enjoyed running up and down the steps.Taking a breather. You can see how red her face is from all the walking, as well as the hot day. My face was red too.
I made her wear her hat the entire time, except when we got back to the park. She no longer wanted to wear her hat and seeing as there was shade, I acquiesced and put the hat away.A large field made of AstroTurf, with a view of the bridge.There was no one there, so it felt like it we shouldn't be there. Hence the look of guilty pleasure on Astrid's face as she runs back to me.This was the best part of the entire park (for us anyway) - an adorable fountain with seal (or sea lion?) sculptures.The water would spout at different intervals and places. Here Astrid got wet and is running away from the spray. Sitting on top of one of the sculptures.Had enough sitting. Now she's going to run back into the fountain again.You can see the pools of water, where the water shoots up, and then stops for awhile, only to start up again later.On such a hot day, the water play was fun and refreshing.Astrid found a couple of abandoned softballs to play with.
Getting even more wet.This was a gem of a find. I could sit back and relax (and take pictures) while Astrid ran around and played in the fountain spray.There was another little girl there with a baby doll and baby stroller. We didn't take the baby stroller with us, and we forgot the baby doll in our car, so she was begging me to play with them. The girl didn't want to share unfortunately, but then Astrid found these balls to play with and that distracted her from the baby toys for a bit.

After a change of clothes, we headed back to Soho. Astrid continued to want to walk (rather than sitting her stroller). Round trip we walked probably 8 miles in total, and Astrid walked the entire way (refusing to sit in the stroller). Unbelievable!

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