Note: this photo was published in an Aug 8, 2011 issue of Everyblock NYC zipcodes blog titled "10024." It was also published in a Jan 9, 2012 New York Sportsman Magazine blog, with the same caption and detailed notes as what I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in an undated (January 2012?) blog titled "Come vestirsi bene per correre meglio."
What do New Yorkers do on a hot Sunday afternoon at the end of July?
Typically, between one and two million (yes, million) of them head to a nearby park to relax and enjoy themselves. That might mean heading to Central Park, or Prospect Park, or one of the dozens of other parks scattered throughout the five boroughs of the city. But if you live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, one of the more tempting choices is Riverside Park, which stretches along the Hudson River from 59th Street up to 125th Street, and even further north (if you’re somewhat adventurous) to the George Washington Bridge.
It’s a relatively narrow park, but there’s enough grass to stretch out and sunbathe, or enjoy a picnic. Or you can find a shady spot under a tree, and read a book or the Sunday New York Times. Swimming in the river is not encouraged, but fishing is okay; or you can rent a (free) kayak down by the 70th Street pier, and paddle around in the river to enjoy a cool breeze. For the more athletically inclined, there are tennis courts (at 96th Street), soccer fields (a little further north), and baseball diamonds (a little further south).
But since there’s a wide, paved walkway that stretches along the entire distance of the park, a lot of people seem compelled — even in hot, humid weather — to jog, run, walk, skate, or bicycle along the river. It’s a great opportunity to show off your fancy bike, or your fancy skates, or your handsome/beautiful body; and it’s hard to beat the view and the scenery.
I came down here to Riverside Park some four months ago to photograph the biking/jogging/skating action, which you see on Flickr in a set I called Riverside Park – first day of spring, Mar 20, 2011. But it was still pretty cold, so most people were bundled up to stay warm.
Today, on this last day of July, nobody was bundled up. True, nobody was running naked, and I didn’t see anyone in a bikini; but brief shorts and t-shirts were pretty universal … except for the guys who wore shorts and no shirt at all.
In my usual fashion, I took quite a few photos — 800 in all, as people continued skating, jogging, walking, and riding past me. About 10% of them were out of focus, or cut off (a running body with no head is not all that interesting), and another 80% were okay, but relatively boring. So, as usual, 90% of the photos got deleted, and I’ve got 80 "keepers" to share with everyone on Flickr.
I have a feeling that I won’t bother with any more summer photos along the river, like this. But I may come back in the fall, when the leaves have turned and the air is crisp and cool. Who knows what everyone will be wearing at that point?