Sunday, 30 November 2008

Walk on Tuesday December 2

We have a fairly short and easy walk at Le Moustoir, just east of Carhaix, this Tuesday at 2pm. It's a pretty route including a long stretch of the Nantes-Brest canal, where the towpath is usually easy-going whatever the weather. Other paths are very grassy and will certainly be quite wet, so footwear with a good grip advised, and maybe a walking pole or stick. Meet in the large parking area opposite the church on the main road in the village (old N164). All welcome, including well-behaved dogs.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone up where they celebrate it! Since I work for an American company, we actually had turkey in the lunchroom yesterday, and it was pretty good. The mashed potatoes were substituted for a potato salad with apple, though. And the live music was a pan-flute band that played salsa music, as well as holiday classics like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Killing Me Softly" (seriously). Still, it was very tasty, and a really nice gesture.

Just know that I was jealous of you all as I was working today!

Also, I'll explain this thing more soon, but if you notice on the left of this page, there's a lot more crap lately. One of the pieces of crap is probably a sidebar with a bunch of pictures of CDs. If you click on that sidebar, it'll take you to an "aStore" that I've been setting up through Amazon (Or click here to visit it). So far, it only has links to the CDs mentioned in the A-Z Music Review Revue (it's the list on the left of the site that opens up), but I'm adding more. Still, you can always search for any item that Amazon sells from that page (click on the little icon that says "Powered by Amazon").

The way it works is, if you buy things from Amazon, but pass through my store first, I'll get a small referral fee. Basically, I'm trying to find ways to pay these 15-minute increments at the internet cafes. Plus, this way I can also promote music and other items that I reviewed or liked. You can also search through the whole Amazon catalog from that site, and I believe I'll still get a small referral bonus for that, too. So, if you're thinking of doing any holiday shopping online, I would appreciate it if you check out that site. I was actually amazed at some of the prices; are CDs cheaper nowadays? There was an Eels CD (Electroshock Blues) on there for only $5.99!

So, why go hang out with all the maniacs and scumbags on the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year when you can shop while staying in the comfort of your internet-equipped home and help out a friend at the same time? Thanks for your consideration!

Now, enjoy some turkey leftovers!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Caucasian Mountain-Tour, "Emerald Valley", second part

After the bee's farm we had to stay in our minibus about an hour or two else till we reached the last aul and had to change vehicle.

There are not roads there, so the locals use these military cars, off-roads, to cross their land. We have seen them near every house that were there. I think, every family earns money transporting tourists. Our guide said, there are incredible quantities of persons that want to make a bath in the cascades we had to visit that day.

It was not so far till the house where we had to eat and to rest a little, but ... to reach it we had an other "extreem". Nothing terrible, but it is not very normal, this bridge.

In the house where we had to rest there was an other presentation of local foods. This time they were mostly wines. The daughter of the owner told us about the wines her father makes and we could taste them all. After that "second breackfast" with "chebureki" (puff pastry with meat inside -mmmmm.....) and we were ready to continue. After that good wine and 4 hours of the car I did not want other as sleep, sincerely, ...

I have to say you with all sincerity: when I came home and looked at my arm and side, I was afraid to see all that parts of my body black from bruises. Thanks God I did not look at my butt...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

An Oysterman's Lament

The Hartford Courant had a story yesterday about an oysterman in Westport. To call it a story about oystering would be somewhat misleading. It is a quick read that touches many subjects.
With Thanksgiving upon us, I found it to be very apropos.

The story is here. No Longer Archived

A photo gallery is here.

Xmas Event for members and their guests

Not long to go now until our Xmas event on Friday December 12th. It's an all-day social/eating/drinking/fund-raising affair and we hope to welcome lots of members and their friends. Drop in for a chat or come and do a workshop on cake-decorating, card-making, upholstery or Morris dancing. Lots of opportunities for Xmas present solutions including books, the 3 euro stall and gift memberships for 2009. Lots of nice things to eat and drink, plus the Brittany Walks recipe book will be on sale for the first time.
Details and directions on

Oh! Deer.

I've begun to notice these weird deer things on my drive to work lately.

Of course, their leader is hard to miss. He was even standing more proudly until the incredible vientos de Navidad recently blew his head over, snapping his spine in a single burst of wind.

I wasn't sure what they were at first, but the other day after I went to Migracion, I stopped on the side of the road to take a closer look. Turns out they're made from a sort of pine sliver thing, and then wrapped with string. I guess they're for Christmas decorations. I asked my students what they were, these strange animals from the highway between Naranjo and Grecia, and they all said, "For decoration." But they couldn't tell me exactly HOW they're used to decorate.

So, I bought one for my mother-in-law and one for my sister-in-law Toni. They seem to like them very much, so I guess I'll see what they actually end up doing with them.

Is it just me, or do this remind anyone else of those pictures of the Chinese terra cotta warriors?

Shore Road Walkway Along Hempstead Harbor

I always like when I stumble across something I was not even looking for. North of Tappen Beach is a simple walkway with benches that skirts along Hempstead Harbor, connecting Sea Cliff to Glenwood Landing. It does not appear on any maps I have looked at, and is not mentioned on any park website. It does not appear to even have an official name. A helpful worker at Tappen Beach told me that it is sometimes called The Walkway, or the Shore Road Walkway. Whatever the name may be, it provides unobstructed views of Hempstead Harbor and the Sound beyond.
Although I did not measure the distance, the walkway appears to extend about a mile-and-a-half. A string of park benches run along the seawall.
There is no parking allowed on Shore Road or Prospect Avenue. Your best bet is to park in Sea Cliff, past the north end of the path, or at Tappen Beach during the off-season. If you happen to discover the official name, be sure to let me know.


Monday, 24 November 2008

Apocalypse Sugar Cane

Last Thursday when I was driving home from my previously-mentioned adventure at the Ministry of Migration, I stopped on the highway and took this picture I like. So at least the trip to the ministry wasn't a complete waste of an afternoon.

The picture shows rolling fields of sugar cane, and at this time of year it gets a cool white flower on the top. It's also really tall, about 15 feet in some areas! I put my sunglasses over the camera lens to take this picture, but I still think it turned out OK. Tomorrow I'll put up a few more pictures from the drive home from the ministry.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

El Ministerio de Migraci�n: A Gentle Rose

I took this picture on Thursday when I had to go to the Ministerio de Migraci�n. If you were able to stay awake in your Junior High Spanish class, then you can probably understand the meaning of the name "Ministerio de Migraci�n," namely: "The Go-Fuck-Yourself of Migration" (it's hard not to talk about Costa Rican government ministries without using lots and lots of profanity). I seem to have to go to this ministry every so often to ask for residence, renew an ID, make a request to renew an ID, or do some other bureaucratically fabulous bullshit task.

I was talking to my coworkers and my mom about this whole ID renewal process, so I figured I'd share it with the world. If you don't like reading the blog when I rant about Tico Bureaucracy, then maybe you'd prefer looking at some pictures of our house that I just put up?

OK, begin rant: See, I have a c�dula de residencia, which is basically the national ID card that Costa Ricans carry, but with a slightly different design (which includes the vaginal-looking Costa Rican national orchid). Also, for them foreigners like me, they are only valid for a year, after which you have to renew it. This sounds easy enough in theory, but of course it isn't.

See, my c�dula expired in October, so I wanted to make an appointment to get a new one. The catch is that you can't make an appointment to renew the c�dula until the actual month of expiry. So, I had to make the appointment in October. The appointment can't be made at the Ministry of Migration; instead, you need to call a 900 number to make it. That also takes extra steps to get your telephone set up to be able to call 900 numbers. Many foreigners are fleeced by unscrupulous people who wait outside the building and offer to call the 900 number on their cell phones, and then charge the foreigner 10 dollars or more for a phone call that only costs 20 cents. So, that's the first step: requesting an appointment by phone.

Second step: Get the date of the appointment. Mine was for March 24th. Oh, cool! Only 5 months after my ID expires. I asked many, many questions during my 900-number call about why this was so, but no one could tell me. Also, despite getting the new ID in March, it will still expire next October, and I can't renew it--or request to renew it, that is--until next October. This will be the case for the first 5 years I have a c�dula, apparently. After 5 years, they'll be good for 2 years each. After 10 years of this, they'll apparently good for 5 years at a time, but if that's the case, perhaps a foreign power will invade this army-less paradise in the meantime and institute some logic and order to the immigration process (Germany? Austria? Turkey? Any takers...?).

Then, if you want to leave the country in the 5 months while you're waiting for a new ID, you need a third step. I had to get a little document that says I'm waiting for my new c�dula, so that I can use it to go through the Migraci�n lines at the airport when Angela and I go to the US over New Year's. Said document is literally a form that has a long declaration that the c�dula is in process, and then it has four spaces that need to be filled in by the Migraci�n officials; the spaces are for "name," "ID number," "date of appointment," and "time of appointment." Oh, and it has a rubber stamp! That's literally all the document says. It would make sense to just give you this document when you make the appointment for the renewal, but since that's over the phone, it doesn't work that way. Also, you'd think that the Ministerio of Migraci�n could set up some sort of "internet system" so that their officials at the airport would be able to see that people are waiting for their new IDs. But that's not the case; you have to go to the ministry in person with a photocopy of your ID and request the little paper. Depending on the whim of the attending agent and also depending on who you actually talk to, you'll have to wait from one day up to two weeks to actually pick up the paper. It will never happen on the same day, though.

So actually I went to Migraci�n on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Once to drop off the request, and a second time to pick up my little rubber-stamped piece of shit.

This should work till March 24th, the day I go to get my new c�dula. Wait, did I said "get my new c�dula"? I mean, "go ask for it again, for some fucking reason." Because I'll go in on March 24th, but that's just to drop off a letter asking for a new c�dula, as well as a proof that I've deposited 58 dollars in Migraci�n bank account. I don't actually get the new c�dula until two weeks after that, at which point I'll have to go back to Migraci�n to pick up the little printed-off piece of plastic shit with my ugly mug on the front and a hologram on the back.

Thankfully, next February Angela and I will celebrate two years of official, state-sanctioned marriage, if you remember that. After that point, I'm legally allowed to apply for Costa Rican citizenship, and it also appears that I won't lose my American citizenship. I've gotta investigate it more, although it goes through the Civil Registry, which is another, completely separate bureaucracy. Still, I'll be willing to try anything that lets me avoid going back to Migraci�n for a few (or seven) more appointments every year.

(By the way, I took the above picture near the highway. It's about the only indication of how to actually get to the main building of the Ministerio de Migraci�n. Oh, and "Musmanni" is the name of a bakery near the Ministerio...)

Some Stories In The News

Here are some news items I read this week.

New London Day: North Dumpling Island Energy Independence

New Haven Register: Shoreline Trail Gets $100,000

Suffolk Times: Opposition To East Marion Hotel & Resort

Connecticut Post: No Higher Fee For Fairfield Beaches

Stamford Harbor Boat Parade

Mystic Boat Parade

Port Residents Petition Harborfront Developement

Also, Tom Andersen at SPHERE has a story about Greenwich boat owners who do not like ospreys nesting near them.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Caucasian Mountain-Tour, "Emerald Valley", first part

As promised in my previous posts, I wanted to tell you about a mountain-tour with light extreme I participate when I was in Sochi.

For me, the greatest extreme in that tour were tight deep-lunged torques that continued every 50-100 meters all the 4-5 hours that we needed to reach the place and than -to turn back from there, after the visit. Imagine that we were only about 70-90 km from center of Sochi but we needed 4-5 hours for one way.

I remember when I came in Sochi for the first time, it was in 80-th. There was the same torques way from Adler (where there is airport) till Sochi. They built a new highway from Adler some years ago, and you need only about 40 minutes to come in the center now. But in this, opposite, side of the region, you can admire the original mountain-roads. As you see on my photo.

Somebody told me once that it was a simple method to build ways in the mountains: to follow the steps of an ass. Because the asses knew where and how to go.

We were in a minibus with guide Golubkova Elena and driver Ruslan. They went with us till the last point of the tour. And it was hard enough, you will see it in my next posts. Here I want to show you only some photos from the road to taste the first beauties of the mountains of Caucasus.

This first is a general look on a mountain river how it is near the sea. It is river Shakhe, I think.

This other photo -to show you the mountain-road. Do you see that line in the middle of the photo? With rocks over and rocks under? Nice, no? It's a canyon of the river Ashe.

The first stop on our way was in a bee's farm. The owners built this pavilion where they have an exhibition hall of all products they have to sell. As you see on the second photo, there are many different products and they are really superb while produced in this zone. The team told us many interesting things about honey and it's derivative, we could taste some different honeys. Than we could buy everything we saw there.

We were at the beginning of our way and bought only glasses of "medovukha" -honey-wine. Mmmm... Great!!!

Continue next time...

Friday, 21 November 2008

Sands Point Preserve

" The old order changeth, yielding place to new." I have always thought it is a strange legacy to be best remembered for a extravagant house. A lifetime described through chandeliers and marble statues for busloads of later generations to gawk at. An imprint of the individual that is measured in square footage and acreage. An existence remembered more for the lifestyle than for the life.

I have often wondered what the thought process was behind these grand estates on the north shore of Long Island. Was a personal statement attempted, other than to declare that they were extremely wealthy? Did a castle represent the royalty of Europe, or did the fortress appearance provide a sense of security and isolation? Maybe they were just following the wealthy fashions of the day. A Guilded Age version of keeping up with the Carnegies.

Twenty five miles from Manhattan, Sands Point in 1900 was far removed from the bustle of city life. With its 216 acres of horse trails, fields, and shoreline, this was a country estate. The mining and smelting operations that provided the wealth were in another world. One could walk the grounds and never think about things like slag and mine pits. The blast furnaces that burned all night were never seen from here. The only sign of industry might be a passing steam tug towing freight, bound for the docks of Red Hook.

Time rolled on, fortunes rose and fell. Wealth splintered eastward to the South Fork, and westward to Santa Barbara. Suburbia came to Sands Point. Markets soared and markets crashed. Industries went global. Gated communities and Hummers brought the fortress mentality back to style. McMansions tried to reinvent the castle.

Before leaving, I took a walk along the beach. The weather was cold, and not surprisingly, there was no one else around. I learned from a phone call that the stock market was down almost 500 points. I kept walking. I walked below the high water line and came across some footprints that told me, I was not the only soul foolish enough to be walking here on this blustery day. Someone had been here earlier.

We all leave our footprint in the sand!

Sands Point Preserve Web Album

Favourite BWs Dogs

We are fortunate to enjoy the company of some exceedingly nice dogs at Brittany Walks!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Kay's account of our Squirriou Walk

(Photos by Dick Westcott)
We set off to discover the delights of the Squiriou valley and the Forest Domainale de St-Ambroise on the circuit de Trinivel joined by three new walkers and Merlin the Jack Russell. Leaving the disused railway station we crossed the bridge over the river Squiriou and headed uphill, which soon warmed us up as there was a distinct nip in the air. Plunging down into the mainly pine clad forest we snaked along the muddy track before the steady climb up past huge piles of timber awaiting collection. Tempting views of the countryside beyond were glimpsed through gaps in the trees, highlighted by the autumn sun. Whilst we settled into the rhythm of chatting and walking, the dogs enjoyed the puddle strewn path.At the forest cross roads we followed a path over a small stream swollen by the recent rain and on into a delightful deciduous woodland.Their leaves carpeted the pathway that led us up into the tiny hamlet of Trinivel. Here we had long views over the forest and beyond. By the peaceful chapel of St. Corentin we stopped for refreshment and enjoyed Liz's delicious cakes.Thus refreshed we rejoined the trail passing by Kervell� and Kermarzin. Here we turned onto 'l'ancienne voie ferr�e' , the old track was strewn with leaves and the Squiriou burbled alongside us. The group had spread out over fifty metres or so, and as they rustled through the leaves it reminded us of the trains that once use to puff their way along the same route.Back at the car park Dick entertained everyone by showing off his dog handling skills whilst attempting to take a group photo of all the dogs.
Kay & Steve Attwell

Autumn Morning In Krasnodar

As I told you in some of my posts before, I went in Russia this autumn to try to receive Russian citizenship. I had some bureaucratic problems and tryed to resolve them one day in the capital of the krai (region that Sochi makes part of). I had to go with train there, and it was one night journey. I came in Krasnodar at 5:30 in the morning and had to wait half a day because the office opened at 16:30.

I never was in this town before and decided to combine "useful with pleasant". Here I discover my personal way to visit new places.

First of all I go to the newsstand (or in other stand) where I can buy a map of the place I want to visit.
Than I read about sightseeings of the place (or corners of interest)
Finally I decide the way I'll go to visit everything I want to see.

Here on the map you can see (not very clear but I hope you can) a point in the center on the railway where I began my walk. If I can I always prefere to walk. From that point I maped my way. Later I counted how many km I did that mornig, they were 11 (it is not my record: sometimes I go to Salerno at feet and those are 12 km-s from my house).

The first what I've seen was this church. I came to it from the back side and could not understand how could I find the entrance. After some attempts I found it finally. The photo is not very clear because it is first morning. But the architecture is interesting. So red...

I'm not a believer, so I rarely visit curches. Mostly for my personal interest (art, history, architecture...). So I was surprized to see this construction (photo lower). If you don't read in Russian, I'll explain you: this is a source of holy water.

I had clothes not good to visit this church (said some persons sitting nearby), so I wanted not risk to enter inside. Who knows, maybe they will beat me...

About a km later I found an other church. This time the building was in the best traditions of Russian white stone architecture.
By the way, I did not know that white stone churches (IX-XIII cent) were not white originally. They were picted all round the wall as those catolic of the same period (in Salerno for example). Rains and other bad weather conditions washed the colors and remained only white.

The other interesting thing I found were very different historical characters as main figure of numerous memorials.

I lived many years in Mariupol and was surprized incredibly to find buildings of the XIX, I think, cent. absolutely identical with those of Mariupol. I had the impression to walk in Mariupol in some places.

Very special is the location of this part of Krasnodar. There is a river and the lakes there. Unfortunatelly I had not time to delight the water but it was really nice to walk there.

Another Mexico City Pic

Since Angela and I are going to Mexico next month, I decided to put up another picture from my trip there with Paul a few years ago. This particular picture is of a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe--I think--in a parking garage in Mexico City.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Playland To Expand Shore Access

The New York Times and the Journal News both reported last week that county owned Playland Park in Rye will switch to an admission fee system next year for the amusement section. Budget shortfalls and amusement parks are not really my specialty, but what caught my eye was what the NY Times reported in the fifth paragraph of the story.

The Times wrote:
"The county will also open the park's shoreline from the Ice Casino to the Edith Read Sanctuary to the public for the first time and make it accessible year-round. Currently, only a third of the almost mile-and-a half stretch of beach is open to the public when the amusement park is operating between May and September."

I visited Playland in October, and one of the first things I noticed was that a gate had been installed on the road that leads to the Edith Read Sanctuary. One could still walk past the gate, but the small lot that kayakers use was no longer accessible. It will be interesting to see just how "accessible" the shoreline becomes, but this certainly sounds like very good news.

Another thing that caught my eye in the Times story was the comment made by Parks Commissioner Joseph A Stout. He stated:

"This will create the longest stretch of public access beach on either side of the Long Island Sound"

My first reaction was to wonder whether that is really true. It doesn't seem possible. Al Smith/Sunken Meadow Park in Suffolk County certainly has more beach. Even Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx has longer stretches of public access beach. Either the statement is false, or it is a carefully phrased comment that I am not fully grasping.
I will have to look into this further.

A Few Days Off

It's been a few days, so sorry I've not but up more pictures lately. Angela had her birthday this last weekend, so we ended up going to the beach. I'll try to put up a picture or two from that excursion, but here's an older picture that I took earlier this year in Esterillos. I just like it, so that's why it's here.
It shows guys fishing in the sunset, so what's there not to like?


"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year."

Hauling a boat is a ritual that I often try to postpone. When the calendar reaches November, a strain of denial seems to overtake me. I become convinced that there will be plenty of warm days ahead. I try to remind myself of the years when I sailed on Thanksgiving weekend. A few peppers still growing in the garden reinforce this delusion. Unfortunately, the calendar and the thermometer do not lie. Sailors, like aging starlets and men with bad combovers, need to acknowledge the passing of time.

The sail from Noank to the Connecticut River boatyard is an easy one. It is the preparations that are most consuming. I needed to make sure the yard had a dock space available. I also had to make arrangements for getting back to Noank to retrieve my car. Finally I had to dig through my bedroom closet for gloves, a wool hat, and the rest of my winter wardrobe. A gentle autumn day on land can sometimes feel like January just a few miles from the shoreline.

November is lonely on the water. An occasional commercial boat is the only other vessel you may see. The shoreline in the distance seems deserted too. Gone are the crowds that flocked to these beaches just six weeks ago. Waterfront homes that overflowed with guests, look empty and silent. Their awnings and Adirondack chairs have been removed from the lawn. Only an occasional whiff from a fireplace tells you that someone is home. A lighthouse that seemed like a quaint image for artists and tourists in June, becomes a utilitarian navigation aid in November.

November is also a sad month on the water. No matter how enjoyable the time might be, you know the days are numbered. This year is no different, as my day is spent looking back in time, rather than forward. I think of my trip to the Thimble Islands, and a starry night anchored in West Harbor. Any sort of thought to suppress my approaching winter ashore. The seasons of the year have come full circle.

I arrived in Saybrook without a hitch, and made my way to the train station the next morning.

It was a spectacular fall day with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60's. As the train passed through Niantic, Long Island Sound came into full view. There were several boats in the distance, taking advantage of the lovely weather. For a brief moment, I started thinking that I should drive back to Saybrook and take one more sail. There would certainly be enough time, and it would be a shame to waste such a nice day. Eventually I realized that this would not be possible since I had already removed the sails from the boat. My sailing season was over, and there was no way to delay its inevitable end. But in spirit, it never ends.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Appledore Woods

There are probably lots of ways to enter Appledore Woods, but the way I know is through Limers Lane. Head towards Westward Ho! from the end of the new Bideford Bridge and take the first right. At the bottom of Limers Lane the road bears left along the river bank. Stop where you can and then walk. A footpath marked with one of those yellow acorns takes you onto National Trust land and into Appledore Woods.

Today it was very muddy, I put my walking boots on and rolled up my trousers, my daughters had their wellies, my husband had put two left feet wellies in the boot of the car and had to walk in his trainers!

The woods are beautiful at any time of the year but today, with all the autumn leaves, they were gorgeous. The path winds along the side of the bank of the river Torridge which is a long way below you and can just be made out through the trees. There is a circular route round which takes you back inland and through a farm and lots of fields but today we walked as far as the point where the path goes down to the beach then turned round and headed back. Three of us had a lovely time, daughter no2. found the experience less than happy when my husband suggested she take her wellies for a paddle through a stream and then got scared by the super-sinky mud. She got stuck on the wrong side of the stream and didn't want to come back again. Eventually we persuaded her, then retreated to my mums for a nice cup of tea.

Thoughts & Rambles: Larchmont Manor Park

Whenever opposition to public access arises, I always think of Manor Park in Larchmont. For those of you not familiar, Manor Park is a privately owned and maintained, 13 acre space situated along the southwest entrance to Larchmont Harbor. There is no charge to enter the park during any season. Visitors do not need to first make a trip to the town hall with a utility bill, car registration, and bank statement to show proof of residency. There is no attendant at the entrance who charges $7 on weekdays and $9 on weekends. There is not even a fence around the park.

Manor Park is free for everyone, but it is not a free-for-all. There are rules, and plenty of them. Aside from the usual "dogs must be leashed" and "no ball playing" rules, the park also bans picnicking, blankets, chairs, food, and beverages. There is no biking, skating, fishing, or swimming allowed either. You cannot launch a kayak or sailboard from the park. Wedding photography requires a permit. Parking is not allowed on the streets that border the park. The only activities allowed seem to be walking, sitting, reading, and thinking. The cynic in me says that the rules are just a backhanded way of discouraging visitors. The idealist in me says that the rules are fine. If the Larchmont Manor Park Society truly wanted to keep out nonresidents, they could have installed a wrought iron gate with a card key system similar to Gramercy Park. According to the their website, the society receives no money from any government agency. It is within their right to restrict visitors, but they have not done so. The cynic in me is wrong this time.

A common theme heard in the coastal access debate is that small town parks need to restrict nonresidents because residents of nearby larger cities would overwhelm the park. If they wanted , Larchmont could make that claim too. The village borders the city of New Rochelle, while the Bronx line is only about a 6 mile drive down Boston Post Road. White Plains is less than 10 miles north via Rte 125. In all of my visits to Manor Park, it has never seemed crowded or overwhelmed. I realize that this is not a perfect argument due to the limited recreation available at Manor Park. Anyone looking to spend a Saturday swimming and picnicking is certainly not going to consider Manor Park. But then again, not everyone who visits Greenwich Point or Bayley Beach is looking to swim and picnic. Some visitors just want to walk, or read, or take in the scenery. Greenwich and Rowayton are not interested in what you plan to do, they simply do not want you there.

Another common argument is that the residents of Greenwich accept no state or federal money to maintain their parks, therefore they are free to restrict access. As I earlier noted, the Larchmont Manor Park Society receives no government money and could legally impose similar restrictions if they chose to. To their credit, they have not done so.

If you visit, be sure to respect the rules that are posted, and be careful to observe the parking signs. Your best bet is to park on one of the cross streets, two or three blocks north. A hidden benefit here is that you will be able to view some of the Victorian and center hall Colonials that line the Manor. The striated rocks that border the shore make for a beautiful scene. The stone walls and steps that wind through the park complement the beauty. Manor Park is truly unique, and it is open to everyone at no charge. That is a rare commodity in this vicinity. Just be sure to leave your cooler and beach towel at home.

Manor Park Web Album

Soundbounder: Umbrella Point