Monthly Archives: April 2016

Central Park’s Conservatory Garden

At the top of New York’s “Museum Mile”, between 104th and 105th Street on Fifth Avenue sits Central Park’s gorgeous Conservatory Garden.    Six acres of beauty, divided into 3 smaller gardens, representing Italian, French and English traditional gardens are a sight to behold.

“How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking of gardens and gardening.”                  Alexander Smith

The Vanderbilt family built these gardens and the majestic gates leading into them is well known as “The Vanderbilt Gate”.  Made in Paris in 1894, the gates originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th St.  A magnificent, welcoming entrance for all.

The Vanderbilt Gate leading to the magnificent Conservatory Garden in Central Park

The Vanderbilt Gate to The Conservatory Garden, Central Park

This particular gathering place in Central Park is a “Quiet Zone”.  Meant to invite meditation, calm and inspiration, the various gardens evoke a special sort of spiritual energy.  When traveling on my own, I always love to explore the parks and gardens that populate so many cities. They provide a respite from the noise and hustle that make up city life.

Spring arrives NYC

Stunning pink and greens, in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden

Sundays are the most perfect day of the week for these kinds of explorations.  On the classic “day of rest”, I always feel free to wander and pick up on a spontaneous whim and go wherever it leads me.  Like the Sunday Drive, a good long walk on a Sunday is a luxurious indulgence.

Conservatory Garden

City Gardens, islands of beauty and rest in the city

The memory of that day inspired my recent Sunday outing to the Conservatory Garden, here in New York.  A late afternoon stroll was a balm to the soul.  I think that we frequently overlook the things that are right in front of us.  Sometimes, I try to apply my travel habits to my own home turf and set out on a Sunday afternoon as a “tourist”.

It’s the perfect way to revel in a Sunday afternoon adventure.  “A Table For One”.

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved





The Sunday Drive

Sundays are a great day to indulge in a whim.  Growing up, we frequently went on a “Sunday Drive”.   My father would announce the recurring event as a question:  “who’d like to go for a Sunday Drive?”  Of course we all wanted to!

“Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week”.  Joseph Addison

The Sunday Drive was an exercise in meandering and discovery.  The whole point was to simply get in the car, go out on the road, enjoy the scenery and find yourself wherever the day’s whimsy took you.  There was no plan.  No calculated purpose.  That was the whole point.

My Sunday Driver Auto machine!

My Sunday Driver Chariot!

I love to name things.  It all started with my first car, a Volkswagen square back which I named “Pod” after the Dad in a book called “The Borrowers”.  Now, I’ve got a lovely old 2003 Audi station wagon that I call “My Audee”.  Since my family nickname is Dee, it’s a perfect play on the brand name.  I love my license plate and it’s a real conversation starter wherever I go.  I was never a fan of “vanity plates” until I imagined this one.  It creates a lot of fun interactions!

This way to Island Drive!

This way to Island Drive!

So on a recent Sunday, I took “My Audee” out for a drive.  Inspired by my Dad’s wonderful inspiration to just go for a drive and see where it takes you.  I ended up in Rye, N.Y. where I grew up, on Island Drive, North Manuring Island.  It was a fabulously beautiful day.  Perfect for wandering.

The rewards of a """Sunday Drive"

The rewards of a “Sunday Drive”

Just down the road from the island is another breathtaking setting.  “Jake’s Boatyard”.  On the inlet side of North Manursing Island, Jake’s factors in as the gateway to what was once home.  Just a wonderful setting and perfect for a spontaneous “Sunday Drive”.  So fulfilling, inspirational and charming.

When you wake up alone on a beautiful Sunday morning, take a “Sunday Drive”. You may discover a place, a memory, an inspiration you didn’t even know you were looking for.  Just wander and see where it takes you.  That’s “A Table For One” moment.

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved