July 9, 2013

A Small Town Fourth

Not wanting to battle the crowds along the Hudson River Park to watch the fireworks, my friend Jen and I decided to take the train up to Cold Spring. It's $20 round trip on Metro-North and takes a bit over an hour to get there from Manhattan. Cold Spring is a very small town and most businesses are along one single block. That being the case, there was a high likelihood of getting bored and returning to the city an hour after we got there. Arriving just before 3:00 p.m., we made it just as the big parade started. Ten veterans, followed by the bagpipe brigade, a local councilman, a police car, a few fire trucks, an ambulance, kids on bikes and the art club. 3:20 p.m., parade over. We walked slowly up Main Street, stopping in various shops filled with over-priced antiques and others full of junk. Nearly starving, we stopped at a local restaurant and had one of the best Cobb salads I've ever had. Stuffed, we made our way down to the tiny "fairgrounds" to find a few hundred people enjoying the day. Blankets strewn about, dancing, picnicking, playing with the kids and listening to one of the four bands that played. We sat in the grass, drank a Budweiser on tap and listened with the townies. An hour later we walked down to the pier and scarfed down a four-scoop ice cream sundae from MooMoo's Creamery ($5, it was a bargain) while watching a large group of kayakers settling in to watch the show.

It was so relaxing. Around 9:15, the first burst went off, which was fantastic from our seats on the pier. They continued for the next half an hour. Just before 10:00 the crowd gathered their belongings and headed home while we headed for the train. I was sorry to leave. Especially after arriving in Marble Hill and waiting 40 minutes for a bus standing in the filth at 225th Street and Broadway. The smell of garbage was overwhelming. I found myself scratching my head saying, "Why do I live it this overcrowded, expensive cesspool?"

Almost a week later  I'm still trying to figure that out...

The best 4th of July I've experienced in years. Manhattan's got nothing on Cold Spring!


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