Island Walk

I emerge at the 215 St stop off the 1 train. I’ve never been here before. It’s familiar but strange, and I wonder whether I’m still in the city. A bridge looms in the distance. Yonder, the Bronx.

I’m armed with a notebook, some pens, and a book, Waterfront by Phillip Lopate, along with a head full of jumbled thoughts and unreliable memories. The daunting expanse of summer awaits me, but first, the daunting expanse of this island. Mannahatta. “Place where timber is procured for bows and arrows.” “Place of general inebriation.” “Island.”

It’s a balmy Monday in June. Before long, in two days in fact, the fury of the New York summer, hot and sticky, is expected. It’s forecast to be in the 90s by Wednesday, but this day is just fine for a walk, a half-marathon stroll along this island, tip to tip, park to park, Inwood to Battery.
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