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Fun and Sun (or, A Few of My Favorite Nyack Things)

Music in the park—or a Home Improvement marathon?

In last week's column, I wrote about the difficulty I had parking in the main part of village. Then the mayor showed me a report that proved I didn't.

The report also showed that one resident thinks the meter officer is "a [deleted] on a power trip," which smells to me like the freshly drawn blood of a newly ticketed motorist. Everyone knows if you have a lust for power, you don't become a traffic cop; you become an ice cream man. It's the hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world. 

I, for the record, support the hard work of the village's traffic cops. And anyway, I'm convinced we don't need them since there's plenty of parking, according to the report, or at least plenty of parking if you don't mind stretching your legs. And as I was already on Nyack's website, I thought I'd assess their recommendations for places to go and things to do. Here are some of the links branching off the main site.

(You don't have to walk to them, but if you do, let's walk together, maybe share an ice cream cone, talk about life. Call me).

Friends of the Nyacks

This group supports the arts in the Nyack area by organizing the Mostly Music festival's free concerts, lending financial backing to certain art and film programs and even building a gazebo. According to the tag line for this column, I'm supposed to say something acerbic here—but I have no venom for a volunteer organization coaxing idyllic memories out of summer. I just think it's a shame more gentlemen don't wear straw carny hats with seersucker suits. If you had one of those, you'd be a tall glass of lemonade away from perfection.

Mostly Music festivals are every Tuesday night at 7:30 in Memorial Park, and if you don't go, you'll probably just end up watching unfunny sitcom reruns. Fair warning.

Nyack News & Views

I was reticent to include this one, because it's an opinion site where people are giving away much more informed viewpoints than mine, and if I put you on to that kind of thing, I'm out of a job. But it's too much fun to ignore, since by the end of the page you've already found out about a free jazz concert, an organic food lecture and where to buy a house well below county market costs.

It's a good place to hang out if you're the kind of person who loves his/her community, and keeps an ear to the ground for what's happening. So again: not really for the people who'd rather watch sitcom reruns. You have the whole of New Jersey for that sort of behavior.

Edward Hopper House Art Center

Hopper is one of my favorite painters ever, and you may remember his more famous works, like "Nighthawks," in which a group of late-night diners either sit desolately around a counter, or enjoy the peaceful meditations of the wee hour. He also painted "Gas Station," which features a man either closing the pumps to go home and enjoy a supper at sunset with family, or trapped on an abandoned stretch of road leading into unknowable forest.

The point is there's a lot of ambiguity in the man's work, but nothing ambiguous about his boyhood home. It's a solid mid-ninteenth century building with a constant schedule of workshops and exhibitions. I haven't been there in a few years, though, so fair warning: it might be a Starbucks by now.

Hold on—a check of the website confirms it's not only still nifty; it's preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2011. 

Memorial Park

It's not just gorgeous, but that, too. This is the kind of park you wanted when you were a kid: good playground equipment and plenty of room to run head-first at each other until one of you passes out (we played weird games in my family growing up).

Anyway, the shady trees and embankments lead one down to the waterfront where you can watch ducks and geese squabble. It's peaceful, a fine place to say hello to your neighbors and maybe catch up on the latest sitcom reruns, or—wait, no! Nice try, TV.

Anyway, don't wait for the Tuesday night music festivals to enjoy this little patch of pleasant.

This was a nice way to flesh out the calendar, since back when I moved into a Valley Cottage apartment, my activities were limited to walking and thinking about whether to buy Chinese food. I'm not saying the area was lacking in things to do; I'm saying it's no good to be poor in suburbia. But there you have it: a stack of free and cheap opportunities to engage your mind as well as make some new friends— and you'll probably be able to park within walking distance. This town has a lot more community than most, so you might as well get out there and enjoy it.  

And for Pete's sake, turn off the TV.

Marc Maturo August 10, 2010 at 04:28 PM
Brendan McGinley has a marvelous wit, much like Mencken! Love his latest take and his way with the written word. When you say "critic" don't be so critical because to be a "critic" is to be open-minded and, dare I say it, critical. We need more critical thought, can never have enough of it. Keep scribbling away Brendan.

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