Today was one of those NYC days where I just felt happy. It was sunny, a bit chilly, but not too much, and full of possibilities. Well, everyday is full of possibilities, but sunny days just make the list seem more endless.
Not being able to decide what to do or where to go, I settled for taking a stroll by Columbia University. After all, the campus is great to walk through, but the greenmarket was also open and I was wanting to make something special for dinner, requiring fresh ingredients.
The boys were eager to head out and play. The day was windy but that just got the boys more excited to be out, who almost immediately started asking to go to the park.
We passed through the greenmarket fairly quickly. It is quite small and not as impressive as the Union Square Market, but it doesn’t fail to have all the basic essential ingredients needed for a quick dinner. My only regret was to have passed up the apple pie and sweets table since I later thought an apple pie would’ve made a great dessert.
We quickly started heading West, down 110th St., towards the ever changing Morningside Heights area. But before that, we made a detour towards St. John The Divine Cathedral. I have fond memories of the cathedral. Next to it is an after school program is where my oldest (then 5) used to spend his after school hours, as well as a few of his summer hours, while I was at work.
We often participated in the family activities offered at the cathedral and though I don’t have any religious inclinations, I do love the architecture found in these old buildings. I enjoy wandering in and just sitting and admiring the grandeur of it all.
I prepared my boys by letting them know they were going to see “where the angels lived” and that they must be very quiet when inside. I had hoped that the boys would not act up. I knew I was taking a chance, but I went in anyway.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Once you enter the cathedral it just demands respect. It took seven years to fully repair the North wing and the great organ after a huge fire, but the results are truly breathtaking.
We were able to walk around, look at everything as the boys quietly whispered, “Mama, what’s that?” “Mama, what’s in there?” “Mama, was that an angel talking?”
After exiting the cathedral the boys were silent for an extra five minutes or so, before again remembering their initial request to go to the park. And there, on 110th and Central Park West, just entering Central Park, is a fun playground where it seems the main focus is to encourage kids to climb, spin, and climb some more. We were there for a little more than 2 hours with me joining in on the spinning and climbing with my boys.
We arrived home just as my eldest arrived from his after school band class. I unpacked the deliciously sweet fruits I purchased at the market and passed them out to the boys as snacks while I prepared dinner and tried to keep them from dozing off.
Inspired by all the fresh vegetables I purchased at the market, I put together a quick concoction for roast chicken from shiitake mushrooms, red bell peppers and thyme, marinated in Masala wine with a side of my Dominican black beans and rice. Yum! The possibilities turned out to be pretty good indeed.