Oh, You Silly City Kids

It’s as if these children have never been anywhere outside a city before, the way they were acting. But who am I to judge those I don’t even know.

I recently when on a day hike with Anna, a new friend from the sociology program, and we both swear that we were the only two graduate students in this rag-tag group of about 15.

I can’t be 100 percent sure of how accurate our thoughts are on that, but I’m fairly confident that 99 percent of those on this hike were art kids from Parsons.

Silly art kids.

The day hike was sponsored by the New School’s athletic and recreation department, and was about 7.5 miles from the Garrison train station, to Manitou—an insignificant little train station hut, the likes of which you’d typically see in cute movies set in Scotland or something.

dayhike And yes, cute would be the appropriate adjective here.

The rag-tag team of questionably dressed girls (there were only two guys on this trip, which means no guys are interested in hiking or Parsons has a disproportionate number of girls in their program) met at the Grand Central clock tower, and after filling out our obligatory waivers, we hopped onto the Metro-North Railroad train to Garrison, NY.

I must interject for a moment with utter disappointment in the clock, the sight of which I cannot “unsee.” Really, I thought this clock was grandiose in its spectacle, but that expectation was lost when I saw the clock sitting atop an information and ticket booth… the ceiling was very nice though.

It was a dreary day, one which ended in rain and a craving for spiced apple cider with whipped cream on top.

The sight along the Hudson River was a peculiar sight to see, with each station after York being its own little “town” of sorts. It was curious to see apartment condos on a small spit of land next to the river, but nothing to receive it across the tracks.

The small towns were quaint, from what I saw, and I’m guessing these are small towns created from various industries like mining or milling and whatnot. It reminded me of the brief drive through the Appalachian towns on our way to Wisconsin—the quaint, rustic feel. A life of simpleness and quiet. A world only slightly removed from the hoopla of the City.

Walking through the fields and mountains and trails from Garrison was no different. But I noticed that hiking here has a very different feeling from hiking Great Falls.

Whereas Great Falls is surrounded by too-big McMansions, these homes between Garrison and Manitou exhibited an elegance in simplicity not found on those mansions along MacArthur Boulevard. And while I found them attractive in their plainness, the Parsons kids found them, I can only assume, to be exotic if not inspiration for some future artwork for they brazenly crossed that boundary between private and shared land, to ogle and take photographs of the homes.

manitou In an odd way I admired their excitement, but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel the whole thing ridiculously funny. It was as if none of them have ever seen land outside a city.

But I give them kudos for not throwing tantrums while out on the hilly, muddy, and rainy mountain trails. Even during the worst of the rain, they were, for the most part, very chipper. They shared their misery here and there as we waited almost two hours for the one train to stop at this 4-feet long hut of a station in Manitou, but they also had an air of excitement and joy about them.

They even learned how to skip rock out onto the Hudson River (not that any of them were successfully able to skip any rocks).

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