The Pace of Summer, Northern Manhattan Edition

When I first moved to New York, I was surprised by what happened in the summer.

The city slows down.

New Yorkers, usually fast-paced, deliberately slow the tempo. We can't account for the visitors, who typically try to do too much and too fast.

The summer offers the necessary pause in the city's legendary quickness.

That's not to say that everything stands still. Some people must, of necessity, keep up the pace.

As the sort of person who usually relates to doing things, as in accomplishing tasks, I was slow to learn the value of intervals. The summer usually provided the occasion to accomplish something marvelously ambitious - take a summer art workshop, sail up the Hudson, read all of Proust.

Respecting the interval is different. What if being still for a few moments could be the goal? It is like stepping out of the water.

In a literal way, the waters have been mostly calm this summer. That said, we've had several big storms, the Gothic stormy kind with forte fortissimo crashes of thunder.

The sky is big in northern Manhattan, and we can see storms coming from afar. We may as well be on the prairie, except there's usually a big hill in the way.

But, mostly, it's been so still.

Several newcomers moved into the neighborhood this summer, as usual. I've seen them unload their vans and U-Hauls, schlepping boxes labeled "kitchen" and "books" into apartment building foyers. I was like them last summer.

A Great Egret has arrived for its annual residency. I heard one long-timer refer to the bird as "Ichabod Crane." It's a fitting nickname for a creature living in hills that undulate dreamily and andante into Sleepy Hollow to the north.

One evening, I followed Ichabod from the marsh to its nearby digs on the Harlem River.

I wasn't in any hurry.

We had a Hudson Valley sunset that night, too. I watched it for a long, long time.


dottie said…
I love your posts. Thanks

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