Archive for the ‘Peekskill NY’ Tag

Hope Springs Eternal?   5 comments

Hope Springs Eternal? Or is it Spring Hope is Eternal. No, no, I’ve got it! We all hope spring is going to arrive, if not eternally, at least starting Thursday. According to the calendar, and the constant reassurances by the meteorologists, that’s when it’s scheduled to arrive  – on Thursday. Will  it? We’ll see. But one thing we know for sure: The Groundhog was right!

To be fair though, winter is leaving but he’s taking baby steps up here in the north country;  bigger steps in and down toward the city. Witness his retreat southward along the Hudson River:

Still Frozen in Peekskill

Still Frozen in Peekskill

Go 7 miles south to Croton

Go 7 miles south to Croton

3 more southward miles to Ossining.

3 more southward miles to Ossining.

Tarrytown - 6 more miles. Nothing!!!!

Tarrytown – 6 more miles. Nothing!!!!

Boy, 16 miles can make a big difference, can’t it?

As for the House of Mars, we’re making progress (I guess). Remember my clothes line back in February?

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Here it was Sunday…..DSCN1404

My “parking spot” back then?

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Now

Almost walkable!

Almost walkable!

My walk in February

My walk in February

Sunday.

Sunday.

Hey, I guess it’s not so bad  after all! Pipe down, Marble. Spring is a-comin’

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Hanging Out at The Beach   5 comments

Last  week’s post was about The House of Mars under the siege of snow, and it included a picture of my poor forlorn clothesline; the clothesline I bought when my dryer died last April. Why didn’t I buy a new dryer? Because it was of the same vintage as the  washing machine, and I just knew that if I went through the hassle of buying a dryer, taking time off to wait for delivery, etc etc, The washer would probably up and die the next day. And I’m glad I did.

The washer spun its last spin in July.

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Now you may ask – why did I put off replacing them?  A natural inclination toward procrastination might be # 1 on the list. Fear would  be #2. fear? Yes fear…

That neither could pass through here.

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Well, July turned to August, and August to September, and I settled into my laundromat routine. Having spent more of my life living in apartments than houses, I am quite familiar with the motions of going to the laundromat.

My best set up was my last California apartment, in Los Gatos; a tiny five unit complex. The laundry room was kitty corner to my backyard. I’d step out the door, cock my ear and if it was  quiet,  I’d come out with my basket of laundry, then go back in and continue on with whatever I’d been doing. When I heard the washer stop, I’d run out and transfer to the dryer. It actually entailed far fewer steps than here at The House of Mars.

The worst arrangement had to be my first apartment ever, in Yonkers, N.Y.  There were three washers for 60 apartments. And as if that weren’t bad enough, there were only two dryers! I was teaching at the time and, if I timed it right, I could nab a machine while the stay at home moms were cooking dinner, and before the nine-to-fivers came home. When I set out for school on washday morning, I’d leave my laundry basket just inside my apartment door and  that afternoon when I came home,  I’d enter the building by way of the  service entrance, peek into the laundry room, and if a machine was free, run like a banshee up to my apartment on the second floor and get my laundry.

But now! Doing laundry fits seamlessly into my regular routine……..

thanks to The Beach Shopping Center in nearby Peekskill.

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Let’s get the question of the name out-of-the-way.  I have no idea. There’s no sand, and the nearest water is – the Hudson River about five miles to the west.

Unless you count this.

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I put my laundry in the car in the morning, and after work,  go straight to the aforementioned shopping center

and park near the laundromat

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walk across the parking lot and work out at the gym.

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Besides doing laundry, the Beach Shopping Center also offers opportunities for take-out on nights when I have no food at home. Twenty minutes before I’m about to  leave the gym, I call next door

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or maybe the other next door.

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So you see it isn’t so bad. Will I ever get a new washer and dryer?? I’ll let you know if  I ever measure that door!

Spring in My Steps   3 comments

Spring was here; for one brief day; Saturday. Others think of spending the first warm(ish) day, hiking or biking in the country. I think of making my way down city streets. And as luck would have it, I just happened to be going into Manhattan. Bonus!

The first hint of spring was the fact that I was able to stand on the Peekskill station’s platform while I waited for the train. The station is right on the Hudson and the winter wind blowing across the platform can turn your head inside out. I swear,  it could move half the cars in the parking lot if the station’s structures  didn’t block its force. I take no chances. Winter finds me waiting for the train up here

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Or in here.

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But no matter what time of year, I always take a minute to take in the view. It’s always fit for a postcard. And Saturday I was able to take it all in without the distraction of shivering muscles and chattering teeth.

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By the time I arrived in the city an hour later it was absolutely balmy – for March.

I took the downtown subway halfway to my destination, and since I had nearly an hour to spare before my appointment, I got off three stops early and walked the rest of the way, my route confined to the narrow side streets which hold the “real” New York

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After my appointment, I decided to walk the two and half miles back uptown. But first, I needed sustenance. If you recall in an earlier blog I boasted about never eating at one of the city’s trendy food trucks. Well I can boast no more. I joined the trend.

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Actually it was very efficient. At first I was discouraged by what I thought was a line but was pleased to discover that everyone had already placed their orders and were actually milling about, waiting to receive them. I stepped up to  the window reserved for placing orders and decided on a spicy cheese empanada from the Veggie listing.I handed over my $3.00, and like the obedient patrons of Seinfeld’s famous Soup Nazi,  stepped to the left to await its being called out at the next window. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am,  those orders just came flying out, and the line dispersed, myself included. In less than four minutes, I was heading uptown, taking happy bites out of my empanada.

I thought of taking a picture, but too late. By the time the notion entered my head,  the empanada was close to morsel size.  But if you’ve ever had a Jamaican Patty or a British Pastie, picture one of those, but, in my empanada’s case, no meat filling, rather, four types of melted cheese, mixed in with caramalized onions and speecy-spicy seasonings. Luckily they supplied a handful of napkins.  I don’t know what needed them more – my hands or my face.

Ahh, food, warmth, fluffy clouds in a blue sky – life in the city was good.

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Next stop ….

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….where people flocked to the benches to re-acquaint themselves with the sun.

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….where kiddies in the playground remembered what slides and swings felt like without winter gloves.

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And where, in their own playground, the dogs frolicked…

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….or chose not to

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Meanwhile back out on the streets, even busy dogs, out on errands, stopped to say hello.

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All too soon I reached Grand Central Station for the trip back north.

Alas the next two days were damp and chilly and the remainder of the week seems to be stalled in what the weather forecasters like to call unseasonably cold temps. But I’ll take unseasonably cold in April over that one unseasonably warm day in November when Mother Nature shows her sadistic side,cackling at us suckers who hope against all odds that it’s going to last while knowing all along  that the next, we’ll be freezing our sweet patooties off.

Days like that are oh so wrong.

But Saturday was oh so right.

Letting The Way We Were Become The Way We Are   3 comments

It started out a hunt for a Christmas  tree and ended up a litany of farewells. With Christmas trees costing what they do, I decided it would be a good idea to stop at The ATM. I’ve written  previously of my fondness for walking Marcos through Depew Park, and his reciprocating fondness for leading me out of Depew Park and all over Peekskill. Well, the bank is smack dab in the middle of downtown Peekskill and as I parked the car, I thought of last Christmas and how we faced the cold and wind but yet we trudged on. Marcos was always a dog with a mission A sad wave of nostalgia passed through me as I resigned myself to the fact  that those days are gone forever.

Don’t worry Marcos is still here, but late last summer he let it be known that he prefers to spend his days differently .

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With my money safe in pocket, I headed toward the highway and happened to pass Miller’s Motors to whom I entrusted both Truckito and my motorcycle for regular maintenance. But last spring, Truckito  (perhaps in cahoots with Marcos?) gave warning that long trips would not be a good idea. So May saw me bade farewell to Truckito.

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And in case you’re surprised at my mention of a motorcycle at my age, be unsurprised. Gone, too. I sold the bike in August. All my riding friends have either moved away or given up riding. I decided to tempt fate no more. The selling experience was phenomenal. I posted an ad on Craigs’List on a Saturday night, accepted an offer Sunday evening, and had the cash in hand Monday evening.

Farewell Ninja.  May you and Donovan B. enjoy many idyllic rides.

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All this nostalgia and I still hadn’t left Peekskill. In a pensive mood I continued on to the Tree quest. When I got to the farm in Hartsdale, there were fewer trees than in past years, and those they did have were huge. Wide huge. Fine for my living room if I planned to move the love seat and recliner into the dining room – but I didn’t. Also, prices started at $85. Change of plans. I’d run a few errands and head back to my local Home Depot. I was pretty sure they still had some trees.

Well, somewhere along the way. My Monkey Mind made the decision. t had something to do with the fact that it had grown dark and I had no energy left to deal with the tree stand that seems to prefer presenting trees that lean. So into Home Depot I walked and out I came with a tree that cost just as much as the ones at the farm …  but it’s the last time I’ll have to buy a tree. Goodby lifelong tradition of live  Christmas trees. Artificial isn’t so bad.

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Now here we are in a New Year and far be it from me to start it with sad farewells. Similar to the saying that whenever God shuts a door, he opens a window, let me say that each farewell makes way for a corresponding hello.

It may be farewell, brisk walks in  Depew Park….

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……….but hello, recliner and giant coffee mug.

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Farewell,  Truckito but hello buying ten gallons of gasoline once a week instead of 14 every five days.

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Farewell,  bike but  hello,more room in my shed……..

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Well, there was more room for ……..about a week.

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May 2013 be filled with happy hellos for us all. Change is good.