Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Week in Seven Words #459

The leaves by the lake light up in a shade of gold seen in Medieval art.

The western-facing windows look like eyelids in the fading sunset. Some are peach in color. Others are grayish, creamy, or dusky.

The leaves stamped to the ground are like the handprints of trees. One of them I can immediately identify: the ginkgo, its leaves fan-shaped.

The sleek, rustling zippiness of ducks. They tear after chunks of English muffin on the south shore of the lake. Along the northern shore, people are feeding geese. The geese are impatient and aggressive. They barge out of the water for more food and honk their indignation when their demands aren't quickly satisfied.

In front of a narrow house, in a yard as small as a cardboard box, an old woman tells a young girl, "You're a sister, a granddaughter, a daughter, a cousin..." She spells out the relationships that help the child define herself.

A man who used to be in the Chinese air force and a musician dressed in military garb from the American Revolutionary War both have daughters enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh.

The colors of the leaves are lush and bold. They've erupted against the backdrop of a broad river with cliffs on the other shore. By my waist and feet are delicate purple flowers, a gentle counterpoint to the trees that burst like fireworks.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Week in Seven Words #458

Deep in the park, the air is deliciously cool and fresh in the early evening. A thick yellow light has unrolled like a carpet between walls of shadow. Some of the trees glow. Others have given themselves to a pool of dim, gray water.

A young boy speaks rapidly in Chinese, except for the English words "Day of the Dead," a Mexican holiday.

We discover a small, airy cafe that serves meltingly sweet pancakes and a farmer's breakfast with eggs and potatoes. I don't eat anything else for the rest of the day.

I've drifted off course unintentionally, but feel as if I'm being guided to see beautiful things. I've taken a longer route, and it's full of serendipitous pleasures.

At some point it dawns on us that we're part of a large crowd all waiting to watch a bunch of pumpkins get towed across the water.

It's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the food is passable, and as long as I can claim one of the few stools by the window, it's a good place to read quietly for half an hour before an appointment.

The large muddy puddles on the narrow path cause traffic jams in the dark. People with strollers and bulky cameras grind past each other to avoid the ankle-deep muck.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Week in Seven Words #457

The advice you give someone may have worked for you, but won't work for them. They don't have to live your choices.

Some trees look like they have eyes, mouths, and, at times, whole faces imprinted on the bark. On one tree, what looks like multiple faces are emerging, their expressions stunned.

One motif that stands out in our walk: aggressive yellow jackets who are territorial about public garbage cans.

He eats out of a tub of ice cream while watching his favorite basketball team lose.

Walking along with two heavy grocery bags and one eye scrunched shut, after something has lodged against my eyeball on a windy day.

Holding the wine glass over my head as the kids kick a soccer ball around the room.

She prepares a strange tangerine tea. It smells good but tastes like a bitter oil.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

First Hike of Spring (Bronxville to Valhalla, NY)

Two Sundays ago (3/24), I joined a group for a hike along the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester from Bronxville to Valhalla (where there are no dead Vikings feasting).

The border between winter in spring is very brown. Though even with few leaves and flowers, the landscape can still be beautiful.




Our lunch stop was in Scarsdale, which is a pretty town.


We walked through some of the residential neighborhoods where the homes have a variety of architectural styles.



However, the most impressive structure wasn't in Scarsdale but in Valhalla: the Kensico Dam.



In total, it was about 12 miles on a day when the temperature climbed from the low 30s in the morning to the mid 50s in the afternoon and stayed sunny, for the most part. A satisfying walk.