Finding One’s Quiet Place

I’ve written before about my search for a spot in New York City that feels like only mine. One that is quiet, hidden, peaceful. It’s not an easy task. Every time I think I’ve found a place; it turns out that I’m not the only person that knows it exists, it becomes impossible to find a bench to curl up on or a tree to sit under that isn’t already occupied.

Last summer I stumbled upon a hidden boat house in Central Park that was perfect. Unfortunately this year, it’s been removed for renovation and refurbishment. The exact date of its return is unknown. Even if it hadn’t been removed, the little boat house had a few downsides: the subway ride from Brooklyn to Central Park is long and in order to get there you inevitably have to crawl your way through a zillion tourists and screaming babies.

So my search continues. Right now I’m dedicated to a little community garden in Gowanus. It’s a fair walk from my Windsor Terrace apartment, but close enough that I can head there when I please. With just a couple of benches most people don’t stay for very long. They wander through the garden to see what it is and then slip back out. It lies on a quiet street, immune to some of the louder trucks and vans that can pollute the air with noise. But, mostly its just charming and quiet. I spent the other afternoon at a picnic bench with my book, watching a thunderstorm roll in.

There are flowers and brick walls. An interesting archway. A couple of hidden benches. More than a few happy bumblebees. And, for now I am perfectly at peace knowing that its mine. That it won’t be bombarded with visitors or overrun by loud parties. Of course if you ask me again in 3 weeks my opinion may have changed entirely, but that I suppose is just life in New York.

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