Dining With Miss Lil: Restoring The Beauty To Harlem’s Parks

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By Lil Nickelson

Harlem is home to some of NYC’s most beautiful parks.  Last month on Monday, June 19th, 2017 the NYC Parks Department held a waterfall restoration ceremony at Morningside Park at 112th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem, NY As I entered the park William T. Castro, the Manhattan Borough Commissioner for NYC Parks along with some officials from the Friends of Morningside Park and two men from the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce gathered together to cut the ribbon.  In the small crowd gathered to watch the ribbon cutting I spotted two executives from Columbia University’s Office of Government & Community Affairs that I had the pleasure of having lunch with two months ago and we chatted briefly before they returned to work.

The ribbon cutting was quick and swift.  I usually walk along the outside Morningside Park most Saturdays when the weather permits me to do my five to eight-mile walk.  To be honest I’m so focused on my walk, I’ve never taken the time to enjoy the sights around me.  Standing there as they cut the ribbon I realized I need to be mindful and take the time to sit by the pond and enjoy the view of it and the waterfall.

So, the first Saturday of this month I decided to reverse the way I walked last year.  This year I started down Lenox Avenue until 120th Street and headed east around Marcus Garvey Park.  Once I had walked completely around the park back to 120th Street I headed back over to Lenox Avenue until I reached 110th Street.  I walked west along Central Park until it turned south along 8th Avenue.  I continued heading west one block until I had reached Manhattan Avenue.  I went sampling the olives and pickles at the farmer’s market on the corner of Morningside Park.  I started walking north on Manhattan Avenue until 112th Street.  I went down the steps and went and sat on one of the benches in front of the pond to take my rest.  Normally I only rest for 5 minutes but today I took a 15-minute rest so that I could admire the waterfall, the ducks and sea galls playing in the pond and the beauty of God’s canvas.  Restoring that waterfall has added to the beauty of one of Harlem’s parks and I want to take it in every chance I get.  I plan on having a cook out and picnic in the park this summer and I’m going to sit right in that spot to plan it.

Read more Dining With Miss Lil articles by Lil Nickelson here.

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