New York City, NY

Commentary: The Harlem Meer on One Perfect Day in May

Remington Write

Goslings and Construction
With goose and gander nearby, no one is messing with those babiesPhoto byTammy Remington

There are about nine days of perfect weather in New York City. Three of them generally occur in May. On one such day last spring, I woke thinking that I really needed to just ditch work, coffee, food, everything and go directly over to the Harlem Meer.

It was 3pm when I actually got out of the apartment that day.

I cheated and took a bus around to 106th Street so I entered the park at the far end of the Meer. I’d just rounded the curve past all the new cattails and reeds and there were the year’s first goslings.
That bold redwing blackbird got invited to stay away by the vigilant parentsPhoto byTammy Remington

Someone was up ahead of me on the path, snapping photos of the nursery. The babies were bookended by Mum and Daddy. And Daddy was thinking that other shutterbug was getting wayyyy too close to the itty-bitties. He was hissing and raising his wings.

Said shutterbug took the hint and backed off.

I took the hint and kept my distance. But I probably snapped about twenty photos and then stood there for another ten minutes just watching those fuzzy darlings.
Photo byTammy Remington
Photo byTammy Remington
Finally, I tore myself away and headed over to check out the current state of chaos where our tax dollars are being used to renovate what used to be the Lasker Rink and Swimming Pool. The big news was all over the papers in September 2019. $150 million to build a fancy new outdoor pool and skating rink.

Well, you know what happened next. That was in the papers, too, and coincidentally enough kicked off almost exactly three years ago today.

Now that we’ve gotten that pesky pandemic out of the way — it is over, right? — it’s all systems go on the construction in Central Park. The big machinery is in there and what used to be an enormous swimming pool in the summer and two skating rinks in winter is now a massive hole in the ground.
What the hole in the ground looked like last MayPhoto byTammy Remington

It’ll be interesting to see what they wind up with over there. But for now, it’s fascinating seeing the process.
Photo byTammy Remington
Photo byTammy Remington
Photo byTammy Remington

And then right across the road from all that racket and destruction is — of all things — a forest. Twenty-one years in this neighborhood and I’m still blown away that there is a teensy perfect forest ten minutes from the stoop of my building. Can you imagine?

So as I walked and peered through the fence at the construction I would also leave the road to step into the woods.
Tree eats rockPhoto byTammy Remington

At one point, a smartly turned-out Papa Cardinal flew out of the brush and landed about a yard from me. He swayed there on a branch just long enough for me to fumble for my phone. You’ll have to take my word for it because that little tease took off before I could get a photo.

Fast forward to a time when those kinds of sunny, warm days seem like a dream, and here's the state of that great hole in the ground as of a week ago.
The chaos continuesPhoto byTammy Remington

March is always in iffy month along the east coast but those perfect days aren't that far off.

So, until those long-anticipated days arrive, I'll bask in the memories.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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