Upper Manhattan in April quarantine

With NYC store, restaurants and bars still closed due to COVID-19 and the weather getting warmer outside, I turned my attention to further exploration of a subdued and less crowded city. On one particular sunny Saturday afternoon I grabbed a citibike and made my way to St. Nicholas Park in Harlem. St. Nicholas park seemed like an oasis in Upper Manhattan. I found myself among manicured walking paths and trees in full bloom. I took a picnic and a book and basked under the warm spring sun. For this afternoon, I felt completely removed from NYC. The park was filled with sun bathers looking to take advantage of a spring that seemed to arrive a bit too late this year. I took particular interest in group of people playing fetch with a small dog who kept coming over to my blanket to look for his ball. Overall, I could not have asked for a better day and unbeknownst to me at the time, the day was only about to get better.
Finding ourselves a bit antsy and looking to walk around, my friend and I left the park without a plan for what to do next. As we exited the park and walked west, we found ourselves standing in what appeared to be a college campus – in fact it was The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (part of City University of New York). While this fortuitous discovery was great, the true great discovery of the afternoon was the main campus of City University of New York in Hamilton Heights – comprised of numerous buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style and the and the greater Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Even my companion, a native New Yorker, was shocked at the beauty of this university campus. Further exploration of Hamilton Heights would ultimately lead us to a neighborhood filled with historic brownstones and tree-lined streets, most notably Convent Avenue. While Lower Manhattan may get all the hype, Upper Manhattan proves itself to be a beautify area filled with neighborhood charm.

Marta Seoane


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