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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Isham Park

I discovered Isham Park on a trip to another, much bigger, rockier swath of green and purple and grey, Inwood Hill Park. Nestled up against its vast neighbor in far upper Manhattan, Isham is a hilly, 20-acre patch whose undulating terrain makes it seem bigger than it is. Springtime, of course, is the most colorful time to visit a park like this:

The park is named for a leather merchant named Isham whose mansion once stood on top of the hill. Now, as the Talking Heads would say, there's "nothing but flowers."

Hessian troops landed here during the Revolutionary War. I wonder if they're responsible for this malformed piece of woodsiness. I don't know what to say about it. Just—here it is:

And lest we forget we're in the big city, the colors don't stop with the spring flowers.

Isham Park is well worth a visit. You can even get some exercise here walking up and down and around the hill—without even crossing over into Inwood Hill Park itself.

And if you're headed that way, to do some real climbing and check out the only remaining bit of original Manhattan forest, take a little time for Isham too. In any other part of town not contiguous with a huge and more famous park, Isham Park would be a well-known treasure.

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