Saturday started out oh so well. Claudia, Janice, Olga and myself were on our way to spend the day admiring the charming landscape and the crumbling ruins of the Greystone Gardens at Untermyer Park, in Yonkers, New York.

We were having such a good time on the train gabbing, gossiping, and munching on goodies we purchased at Zaro’s that, we actually missed our stop at Greystone. No problem, we just had to catch the train going back one stop and that arrived within a few minutes. This should have been an omen.

According to the directions on the Untermyer website it would be only an eight minute walk from the Greystone train station via the “short road” to the gardens. Ha, ha, how they lied. What seemed like way more than eight minutes (let’s say an hour) we walked along a very long hot winding road, then slogged through a trail of thick mud. At this point, standing in the mud, we realized we were going in the wrong direction (we should have crossed the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail not taken it!) and had to turn around and head back onto the dratted hot road and continue the steep climb, sweating profusely. Nary a street or a road sign or another soul was to be seen.

I called the park offices but, they were closed for the weekend. Of course!  Using our smart phones to conjure up maps from Google or shouting commands at Siri we still remained lost and aggravated, until we actually met a local man walking down hill and we pleaded with him to tell us how to get to the park. He did and we finally found the entrance gates (as per the website directions) but, not before we continued on the long slow climb up hill on the road from hell.

Entering the park grounds we were hot, disheveled, and thirsty and no longer excited about our day trip up to Yonkers. I personally was in a foul mood and was so thirsty I gulped cold water with my cupped hands, from the lady’s room faucet (we drank any liquids we had on the train and there was nowhere in the gardens to buy any.)

Now that we had our wits about us again, my friends took themselves off to find a cool shady area to sit for a bit and relax and I took my grumpy self off to wander and take photos.

I had been taking photos for about an hour when my camera decided to have a hissy-fit just as I reached the Temple of Love water falls. I did not have a tripod with me and therefore was trying to hold the camera as steady as possible, as I was shooting at a slower shutter speed to obtain that lovely cottony effect on the water. As I braced against a rock crunching myself down into a steady tripod like squat, sweat pouring down my face, the Camera flashes an error message letting me know it is hot and it needs to be cooled down!  My jaw dropped. It’s hot!? What a freakin princess! I cursed at it through my teeth, turned it off, counted to twenty and then turned it back on and it worked just fine. I swear I heard it snickering but, I got my shots.

Due to the waterfall shots not being at all as sharp as they would be if I had used a tripod, I added a Orton effect to all of the images which gave them a soft, glowing, dreamy effect and added a creamier look to the water falls.

We did end up going in the opposite direction again, on the way back to the train station but, I won’t go into that. Needless to say we got our exercise in and we were very happy when we were seated on the train heading back to Manhattan.

Sorry for the rant. I hope you enjoy the images. And if you want to visit Untermyer Park, go by car. It most likely will take you only eight minutes.

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6 thoughts on “Frustration and Loathing in Yonkers

  1. How lovely this place looks from the comfort of one’s home!!! Seems I missed some of the enchanting sights but fortunately, Cate captured them and beautifully, I may add. How amusing but accurate her tale of woe and loathing was! We were defiant and daring in our endeavor to find the exotic, Persian gardens with waterfalls, but persevere we did, until eventually we found ourselves at the gates with imposing Roman columns and a panoramic view of time-worn temples!! The beauty of these gardens is the quiet and reflective mood which envelops you and yet allows visitors to wander through centuries of classic architecture and graceful mosaics. Savor the beauty and ambience of an unusual place, even if vicariously, through the hot lens of our astute and insightful photographer.

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  2. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the hard edged mosaics to the soft edged plants. I happen to love mosaics… when I was in the archaeology program that was my specialty so I love to see them anywhere. Some of the photos have a dreamlike quality, or maybe it was the heat! The falling water images are stunning.

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