Bathhouse Steam Room

29 Jun

After acting in Greg Risley’s film Saturday afternoon and performing in the Capital City Mystery Players show Saturday night, I got a few hours sleep before Charlie drove me to the Austin airport at 4:30 Sunday morning. I wasn’t quite awake and left the Penthouse keys in the car ignition when I kissed Charlie goodbye.

I arrived in New York in time to catch a couple hours of the Pride Parade/March hooting and hollering its way down Fifth Avenue.

The visibility is so poor right now I could only see a couple miles as the plane descended through the brown muck to the landing strip. There’s a breeze, which I’m told dies by August. The temps are only in the low 90’s, but it feels like the bathhouse steam room.  That’s the room with a sign cautioning patrons to stay 15 minutes or less to avoid heart failure.

In Texas we walk from our air conditioned house, to the air conditioned car, brave the sixty second walk in the parking lot into the air conditioned office or store.   In New York they live in this sauna.  The subways are air conditioned–but not the stations. The old high rises in Manhattan are barely cooled by window units.

I’m thinking I’ll take up swimming in the East River to cool off.

Mark and I took the train to 215th Street Monday afternoon to the Inwood Hill Park at the far northern tip of Manhattan.  It was totally amazing to discover this park, which gets very few visitors and still has some old growth forest dating back to the time of the Dutch settlers.

What really surprised me is that my Dutch ancestors traded (swindled) the island away from the locals with beads at a ceremony in this forest.  I always assumed the deal was struck somewhere near Wall Street–not up where the short lived Harlem River meets the Hudson.

The locals rave about Central Park and how wowzy it is to have trees in the middle of urbania, but this park is the real deal.  Central Park was bulldozed and landscaped; Inwood Hill with its rocky outcroppings, vocal wildlife, flying squirrels and giant trees is what the island used to be.

Sadly I didn’t see any squirrels flying, and considered throwing a couple off the cliff to see if they could fly, but I’m willing to go back next week to give them another chance.

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