January 8, 2016
If you read my post the other day from the Cypress Hills cemetery (Five), then you may draw the same conclusions I did. Here is another picture from that day at the cemetery:
The picture of the day image is the Fort George section of Manhattan- all the way at the north end of the island, starting around 190th Street. I was standing on a hilltop, which is Fort Tryon Park, or as some of you may know it as the hill where The Cloisters is located. The bridge in the background crosses the Harlem River and leads into the Bronx. If you could see the people that reside in that small frame I snapped… you would be looking at thousands of people. Literally thousands. New York life gives all sorts of new meanings to compressed living and reaches incredible lows in what people are willing to accept as ‘standards of living.’ That is, of course, unless you have done well for yourself. So it is no wonder then that they have such a massive section of Brooklyn dedicated to thousands upon thousands of graves- nearly stacked up on top of each other. If one accepts it during life, then why not in the afterlife, right?
This was another day that did not end up as I intended it to. I initially went to 207th Street to find the Dyckman Farmhouse- it is the oldest residential structure in Manhattan. Specifically, it is a ranch house from the 1700s when Manhattan was just starting out as farmland. I have never been there before and the websites looked decent. Not good but decent. So I hoped to take pictures of the small, old house against a backdrop of stereotypical brick apartment towers. I’m not even going to post a link to this house because when I got there it was one thing to find myself in a particularly hell-hole section of the Inwood neighborhood, but it was another, greater disappointment to see the house in dilapidated condition. The house is owned by NYC Parks & Rec, so there is no excuse for the condition of this place. It is not about the money because those Parks & Rec guys have plenty. It is about a complete lack of care for a piece of our earliest American history, and that is a shame. But out of that came the lesson of the day:
On my way back, I decided to get off at 190th Street to give the day one more chance. I am glad I did. Fort Tryon Park is a nice part of Washington Heights and the park is maintained in excellent order even during the winter time. For instance, there are winter flowers in bloom and the gardens are clean and free of litter. This park land was donated by John D. Rockefeller, and is owned by the same Parks & Rec Department now.
The sign reads, “Let no one say, and say it to your shame, That all was beauty here, until you came.” Can you think of any better way of saying “Don’t litter.” I surely couldn’t . So you see, the difference is not the money.. it is the care.
In any case, I am glad I decided to continue to the next stop, the day went from bad to good.