Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Parashat Re’eh, Re-eh, or whatever--5773/2013 thoughts

An Israeli-American fellow/sister congregant insisted that “parashah”( not “parshah”) is the correct Hebrew.

Okay, enough Hebrew lessons--on with the show.

Basics here.

Sorry about the reruns, but I’ve been blogging for almost nine years, and after all that time, repeating myself goes with the turf.  :)

Past posts re this parashah:

Based on absolutely no research whatsoever, but strictly on a hunch and on what little I know about West Asian and European pagan religions, I have a strong suspicion that the prohibition against almost all weddings during Sefirah had less to do with mourning for the victims of a supposed plague among Torah students and more to do with preventing us from participating in spring fertility rituals. And I find it hard to believe that the rabbis didn't put a damper on our fun and games right smack in the middle of summer for a similar reason. Sometimes I think the rabbanim/rabbis had, and have, less faith in our ability to behave ourselves that the Torah did.”

Not to mention the victims of Hurricane Sandy L.
[Includes a link to Mark’s post, "A Song for Katrina," which includes links to his song Aniyah.]
 I can’t figure out why this post turn up when I searched my blog for Re-eh/Re-eh/Reeh (whatever) posts, but the link leads to a real beauty.  Read it and weep, literally.  L

Yep, I receive some of my belated Jewish education from comments such as this one:
Blogger elf's DH said...
. . .
Parhsat re'ei can fall on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh or when Rosh Chodesh is on Sunday.

When it is Rosh Chodesh, you read haftarah for Rosh Chodesh. When it is machar chodesh (as it is this year), you read the regular haftarah (Isa 54:11-55:5). [incidentally, this is an error in Hebcal, if you use that.]

So, how do you make up for the extra haftarah? The haftarah for parshat Ki Teitzeh is Isa. 54:1-54:10. If parshat re'ei came out on Rosh Chodesh, you read Isa. 54:1-55:5 (haftarat Noach), which encompasses the missing haftarah!

Blogger Shira Salamone said...
"If parshat re'ei came out on Rosh Chodesh, you read Isa. 54:1-55:5 (haftarat Noach), which encompasses the missing haftarah!"

Oh, is *that* the method! Thanks for the info, ELF's DH!

For the record, if I'd realized that there was a way to make up for the skipped haftarah at a later point but still before Rosh HaShanah, still during the Seven Weeks of Consolation, I wouldn't have objected to doing Haftarat Rosh Chodesh. Either the student rabbi didn't explain it to me or I didn't yet know enough for his explanation to "register."

. . .

The quote-hunter strikes again--This one appears in the Amidah prayer of Musaf (Additional Service) for the Shalosh R’galim/Three Pilgrimage Festivals:

טז שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָל-זְכוּרְךָ אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר--בְּחַג הַמַּצּוֹת וּבְחַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת, וּבְחַג הַסֻּכּוֹת; וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה, רֵיקָם.

16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; on the feast of unleavened bread, and on the feast of weeks, and on the feast of tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty;
יז אִישׁ, כְּמַתְּנַת יָדוֹ, כְּבִרְכַּת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ. {ס}

17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee. {S}

Conservadox has a few thoughts re Parashat Re'eh to share.

Since I've recently found it impossible sometimes, for reasons unknown, to access the "Compose" window from my office computer, I've reverted to the way I used to blog years ago--I now compose my posts in e-mails or Word (between assignments and/or phone calls, of course), send 'em home, and publish from there, er, here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A bissl of this, a hoover of that :)

For the benefit of the 99% of my readers who have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain:

  • "a bissl" means "a little bit" in Yiddish;
  • Bissell and Hoover are both vacuum-cleaner companies.
As a person with a B.A. in a foreign language, far be it from me to miss an opportunity to make a bad bilingual pun.  :)

Ahem, what was I saying before I so rudely interrupted myself?

Oh, yes.

The perils of praying on auto-pilot
The visiting rabbi and I had an interesting discussion regarding the advantages and disadvantages of leading prayers while facing the congregation, as opposed to leading prayers the traditional way, which is while facing the aron kodesh ("holy ark," an enclosed "bookshelf" where the Torah scrolls are kept for reading during religious services).   He insisted that, by facing the congregation, he could better gauge whether congregants were keeping up with him or needed more time.  True, but I presented my own opinion, which is that facing the congregation leads to a greater risk of treating prayer services as performances and/or failing to keep a close eye on one's prayer book.  I presented the "performance" problem as one that I'd encountered elsewhere.  (See the last paragraph and the comments here for two true stories).  I didn't have the heart to tell him that he himself had skipped three words in one b'rachah/blessing and mispronounced one word (thereby changing its meaning) in another b'rachah over the course of two services on one Shabbat/Sabbath.

As I become better acquainted with the prayers, even I, Ms. Slow-Poke, occasionally skip words or say the wrong ones and have to go back and correct myself.   In my experience, this is a hazard of knowing the prayers well enough that one doesn't always pay attention to what one is saying--one's kavannah (focus/intent) becomes a victim of  familiarity.  I suspect that, with this particular rabbi, a former yeshiva student, the problem is that he's so used to praying that he actually thinks that he's said all the words, and truly doesn't realize that he's skipped a few.  You might say it's a classic case of mind over mouth.

Intro to Anthropology
A recent guest at our Shabbat morning services had me puzzled as to why she was standing on the side of the room and facing the congregation--until she held up a camera.  I turned my back on her immediately.  The problem wasn't so much that she was violating the laws of Sabbath by taking photos--the problem was that she was treating our religious services as a "photo opp."  The other side of Margaret Mead's lense isn't always a place where one wants to be.

Good health is hard to find :(
Our fellow and sister congregants are plagued with numerous health challenges, such as, for example, hearing and/or vision loss, asthma, diabetes, and arthritis and/or mobility-impairing injuries, and have been subjected to treatments as serious as, for example, joint-repair or -replacement surgery, heart-stent surgery, and dialysis.   We were hoping to pay a couple of bikur cholim (visiting the sick) visits today, but one of our ill is preparing for major surgery and the other is exhausted from chemotherapy.  By comparison, my husband and I are pictures of health.  Thank G-d for big favors.

Barring a sudden change of schedule, I'll be working on a major project tomorrow (and possibly beyond tomorrow) , and probably won't have time even to look at this blog, much less write a post.  I'll see you when I see you.

Yes, I did the reformatting at home--I still have no access to the "Compose" window on my office computer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ms. Tech-Challenged rescued by "auto-pilot" :)--or not :(

I finally got around to buying the new, higher-capacity external hard drive that I've been meaning to get ever since I realized that there wasn't enough room on my old one to back up last summer's vacation photos and videos.  (We would have lost all of those photos and videos when my hard drive had to be replaced recently if the Punster had deleted the Vacation 2012 Photos and Videos folder from his desktop.)  But I've made it a habit to back up new files as soon as possible, and I had no recollection of how to do a full-computer back-up.  Oy.  So I plugged the new contraption into a USB port and held my breath.  Fortunately, the new drive knew what to do, and started the back-up all by itself.  It even asked me whether I'd like to choose what to back up or whether I would prefer to leave the choice to Windows.  Well, given my track record, I decided I'd best let the drive do the job without my so-called help.  (The Punster is the one who installed the new hard drive, bless him.)  I'm happy to report that, while watching the proceedings on my screen, I did learn (or, perhaps, relearn) something important--the place to find a "Back up your computer" link is the Control Panel (accessed via the Start button).

The back-up was completed at about 2 AM, while yours truly was sound asleep.  I haven't checked the new drive yet, but I certainly hope everything is there.  Thank goodness for hardware that's designed for dummies.  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 update:  This is not what I had in mind :(
Last night, I took a look at my external drive and got an unpleasant surprise--instead of my files having been saved in the usual folders that could be opened and read, the entire contents of my computer is now copied in an unreadable digital file named OWNER'SNAME--PC.  The problem with that is that it's impossible for me to check to ensure that all of my files were actually copied (which they weren't on previous occasions when I've done a full-computer back-up).  All I know for sure is that roughly one third of my new external hard drive is now full.  I am not a happy camper.  :(  Sigh.  Well, Shira, welcome to the second decade of the twenty-first century, apparently also known as the Digital Decade.

12:31 PM  update:  Auto-pilot, not :(
According to the Physicist (see comment), the back-up probably just imaged my main system drive, rather than backing up my files.  Looks like I'll have to choose which files to back up, after all.  Oh, well, back to the drawing board.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 update
The good news:  I've copied my My Documents, Pictures, and My Videos folders, and our current Quicken file, onto  my external hard drive, and all of the aforementioned are in openable and readable folders and/or files.  The back-up took much less time than anticipated.  I just hope that everything's there.

The bad news:  iTunes "kidnapped" all of my music, making it impossible to back up.  If there's any way to get copies of my music back into the My Music folder, please enlighten me.

To do:  Previous Quicken files still await backing up.

Okay, I think I've bored you enough.  We now return to our regularly-scheduled blogging, which is actually irregularly scheduled between assignments.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hot under the collar, literally and figuratively

Literally:  Welcome to the Baked Apple
New York City is generally known as the Big Apple, but today, it's more like a roasted one.  It was already 83 degrees Fahrenheit/28.33 Celsius when I got up at 6 AM this morning.  It's 1:55 PM as I type this post, and the Weather Channel says it's currently 99 degrees F/37.22 C.  Advice to literal hot-heads:  Drink plenty of water.  Also, I've found that using corn starch on heat-irritated skin can help--maybe it will help you, too.

Figuratively:  A public-transit rider's rant
I hate to ask unless I have no choice, and rarely request a seat on public transit, though, of course, I did after my foot surgery some years ago and after I broke both wrists and literally couldn't hold anything.  Still, I can't help but be bothered by all the fine folks who sit there nonchalantly ignoring the fact that a woman with a cane draped over her elbow is standing right in front of them.

A few days ago, I spotted a very young lady, probably around 12 years old, seated, with her mother standing directly in front of her.  This, I thought, was interesting.  The girl in question wasn't so young that asking her to give up her seat would have resulted in her whining for the rest of the trip, so, for openers, why was she sitting, rather than her mother?  Better yet, when a seat was vacated right next to the girl, her mother sat down.  So let me get this straight:  pre-teens get priority for seating over their own parents, and a woman old enough to be the mother of one and the grandmother of the other--and holding a cane, noch besser/even better--gets roundly ignored.  That's what I get for not asking.  What ever happened to so-called common courtesy and/or respect for one's elders and/or consideration for those with mobility problems?

See also:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Parshat Va-etchanan, 5773/2013 thoughts

I have nothing new to say at the moment, but here are some interesting posts of mine from previous years:
"Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses Our Teacher) is such a nag, and a pessimist, too. "I know you're going to sin. I know you're going to get kicked out of your country." (See particularly D'varim/Deuteronomy 4:25-26.) Nice positive reinforcement. Not.
And there's this interesting statement (from D'varim Deuteronomy 4:2):
ב לֹא תֹסִפוּ, עַל-הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם, וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ, מִמֶּנּוּ--לִשְׁמֹר, אֶת-מִצְו‍ֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי, מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם. 2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Um, what are mitzvot d'Rabbanan--commandments from the Rabbis? If we're not supposed to add, where did we get the idea that we need separate dishes, etc., one set for meat/poultry products and a separate set for dairy dishes, which is certainly nowhere in the (Written) Torah/Bible?"  See that post for more choice tidbits.  
According to Conservadox, "Tigay suggests that Moses, by emphasizing his own mortality, may be trying to prevent posthumous worship of himself."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Restricted access (see the comments) :(

Wed., July 17, 2013 update:  I clicked on the Tools menu, Delete Browsing History, and deleted the Temporary Internet Files.  So far, so good.  Thanks for the help, Reform BT!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pre-Tisha B'Av notes

I intend to republish these notes, copied from previous posts, annually, adding new notes as I learn more.

In 2013, Tisha B'Av begins this coming Monday, July 15, at sundown. I strongly advise those healthy enough to fast for 25 hours to:
  1. start eliminating coffee, tea, and chocolate as soon as possible--if you're going to have a caffeine withdrawal headache, you'll want to have it before the fast;
  2. avoid salty food all day Monday, especially at your pre-fast meal, since salty (and, for some people, very sweet) food may make you thirsty.
  3. drink plenty of water all day Monday--we have one friend who drinks a cup of water every half hour before a fast day--and;
  4. eat your pre-fast meal on Monday early enough before sundown to get to Minchah/Afternoon Service at synagogue, if possible, or to pray Minchah at home.

Those with access to the Internet on Tisha B'Av may want to register for the Orthodox Union's Tisha B'Av webcast.

Notes, as promised:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011/Tisha B'Av update: It's a good thing that they announced at our local synagogue that we'd be having a Mincha (Afternoon) Service just before the beginning of Tisha B'Av, because I'd completely forgotten--again!--that one is supposed to eat one's final pre-fast meal (seudat hamafseket?) before davvenning/praying Minchah and almost davvenned Minchah at the office, as usual! So I'm adding this note to my pre-Nine-Days prep. post as a reminder for next year and future years.

Another note: Weird as it may seem, we do say the Birkot HaTorah and all of P'sukei D'Zimrah, etc., but, on the other hand, we don't say Avinu Malkeinu or Tachanun, at Shacharit/Morning Service on Tisha B'Av. See the Tisha B'Av Minchah notes that I added to the linked post, too.

Um, never mind--I'm copying and pasting those Tisha B'Av Minchah notes here, so that I don't miss them:

Good thing I just checked Minchah in our OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot--I see that the Shir shel Yom/Psalm of the Day gets moved from the end of Shacharit to the beginning of Minchah/Afternoon Service, after one puts on tallit and tefillin (which are also moved to Minchah). And don't forget the following changes in the Amidah prayer of Minchah: 
  • add the Nachem paragraph to the V'liY'rushalayim brachah/blessing in the Amidah at Minchah, and say the Tisha B'Av version of the chatimah (closing) of that brachah.
  • add Aneinu to the Sh'ma Koleinu brachah.
[Sat., July 13, 2013, 10:52 PM note:  The best way to avoid errors seems to be to davven (pray) using a Kinnot (dirges) book, if possible.]

I see that Rabbi Gil Student mentions checking the back (or front) of one's Kinnot book for the laws of Tisha B'Av. The OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot has a nice round-up of laws regarding not only Tisha B'Av, but also the Three Weeks in general, the Nine Days in particular, and the day before Tisha B'Av specifically.

Learning on Tisha B’Av (TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010)
The rabbis established limits to what Biblical and/or Rabbinic texts we're allowed to study on Tisha B'Av, lest we derive too much pleasure from our studies. (You can read about those limits, and other information about Tisha B'Av, here.) Me, I spent some time cracking my teeth trying to learn Psalm 137, Al Naharot Bavel--By the Waters of Babylon, which seemed an appropriately mournful thing to study. You can find it here, though, in the Hebrew, most of the punctuation is in the wrong place.

Copied from an e-mail for the benefit of those within easy commuting distance of Manhattan's Upper West Side:

Tisha B'Av at Mechon Hadar
Tuesday, July 16th
Shaharit and Kinnot: 9:00 am
Classes : 11:30 am
Minhah: 1:30 pm
All classes and davening will be held at 
190 Amsterdam Avenue (at 69th Street)

Piety and Protest: Exploring Psalm 44
Rabbi Shai Held

"Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?!"  With these thunderous words, the Psalmist expresses extreme anger and disappointment at God's ostensible abandonment of Israel.  How could God utterly abandon a people God had once gloriously saved?  In this session, we'll do a very close and careful theological reading of the psalm and some of its parallels, and ask what role lament and protest have in biblical theology-and in ours.

Comfort by Comparison: Poetic Strategies for Consoling Mourners
Dena Weiss

Nihum Aveilim, comforting mourners, is one of the most challenging inter-personal mitzvot that we are regularly called on to perform. In this shiur we will explore the loss of Jerusalem and the attempt to console her as the paradigm for understanding human loss. By appealing to both Halakhah and Aggadah we will try to synthesize a wise and sensitive approach to comforting Jerusalem and those who mourn with her.  
Kehilat Hadar will be having Eicha reading the night of Tisha B'Av at8:45pm.  More information can be found here.  

Have an easy and meaningful fast.


Sunday, July 07, 2013

"Gingi"* gets a new floor (last view before Tisha B'Av)

"Gingi,"* the red-headed kitchen, is progressing.  Here's the latest view:
Floor and cabinets, ready for their close-up--I hope the tiles are a decent match for the cabinets

Floor, cabinets, counter-top--a long view

I'm sneaking in these last shots before sunset and the beginning of the Nine Days.

*"Gingi" is the contemporary Israeli Hebrew word for "red-head."

Friday, July 05, 2013

Pre-Nine-Days preparation: Links to helpful info

This post was originally published on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM. I'm keeping it on top until next Tuesday (er, Sunday, July 7, 2013--Rosh Chodesh Av begins at sunset). For newer posts, see below.

[Update, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.  Re-publishing this post at the last minute is getting to be a bad habit.  For those who observe the restrictions of the Nine Days, any preparations will have to be done tomorrow morning and afternoon, since the Nine Days begin at sunset tomorrow.

[Update, Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sorry I forgot to re-publish this sooner. For those who observe the restrictions of the Nine Days, any preparations will have to be done this morning and afternoon, since the Nine Days begin at sunset today.]

[ ¶ ] Rosh Chodesh Av, and the beginning of the Nine Days preceding and including Tisha B'Av/Ninth of Av, begins Sunday after sundown, so those who observe the Nine Days restrictions will probably need to prep after Shabbat/Sabbath or on Sunday before sundown. For your information and assistance, I'm publishing the link to two helpful old posts, my own Pre-Nine-Days prep:  my 10-minutes rule and, linked therein, Elie's Nine-Days.
[ ¶ ]

See also Showering during the Nine Days, by Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (adapted from lectures), published on the Orthodox Union website.

In addition, see The Laws and Traditions of the Nine Days, also on the OU website.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011/Tisha B'Av update: It's a good thing that they announced at our local synagogue that we'd be having a Mincha (Afternoon) Service just before the beginning of Tisha B'Av, because I'd completely forgotten--again!--that one is supposed to eat one's final pre-fast meal (seudat hamafseket?) before davvenning/praying Minchah and almost davvenned Minchah at the office, as usual! So I'm adding this note to my pre-Nine-Days prep. post as a reminder for next year and future years.

I see that Rabbi Gil Student mentions checking the back (or front) of one's Kinnot book for the laws of Tisha B'Av. The OU/Koren-Lookstein/Soloveitchik Kinnot has a nice round-up of laws regarding not only Tisha B'Av, but also the Three Weeks in general, the Nine Days in particular, and the day before Tisha B'Av specifically.

June 19, 2012 update:  See also my Pre-Nine-Days prep:  my 10-minutes rule and Elie's Nine-Days tips, linked therein.

August 21, 2016 update, before I forget altogether:  No nail clipping/paring during the Nine Days, unless you're a mohel preparing for a bris/ritual circumcision or a woman preparing for immersion in a mikvah.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Parshat Matot-Masei, 5773/2013 thoughts

For my previous posts on these two parshiot/weekly Torah readings, see:
"It's rather sad that a woman of the biblical era had to be protected from the right and ability of her father, or, after marriage, her husband, to prevent her from keeping her vows. But I suppose that her being excused from keeping a vow was better than being held responsible for actions that she was not allowed to take. Apparently, the only females of any age who were considered independent agents free to make and carry out their own decisions were widows and divorcees. (See Numbers, chapter 30, verses 2-17.)"
"While it's true, and to the credit of biblical law, that the land of the deceased father who had no sons became the property of his daughters, it could also be argued that the daughters themselves became the "property" of their father's tribe. See Numbers, chapter 36.) You win some, you lose some."
"An ir miklat/city of refuge was, in effect, a giant prison serving to protect the accidental killer from the functional equivalent of a lynching."

Conservadox has an interesting theory about Moshe's behavior in recent parshiot.

DovBear's guest poster Y. Bloch is scandalized by a line from Matot.

In unrelated news, the discussion regarding the use of a dishwasher for both meat and dairy dishes in a kosher kitchen is still in progress in the comments to this post.  (Still true July 5th.)

Monday, July 01, 2013

Tourists in our own town

Little Red Lighthouse under Great Gray Bridge
(Plenty of photos below)

Yesterday, returning from visiting a friend in the Bronx, we found ourselves in the uptown Port Authority terminal at the George Washington Bridge, and were about to enter the subway when yours truly had a crazy idea:  "We're practically on top of the George Washington Bridge--let's go look for the Little Red Lighthouse."

American readers with children may well remember the children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.  In it, the lighthouse feels small and unneeded after the George Washington Bridge is constructed quite literally almost directly overhead, but the bridge assures the lighthouse that its own lights are for "the ships of the air," while the lighthouse, small though it is, is still the guardian of the boats on the river.  This book made the lighthouse so famous that, when the Coast Guard made plans to demolish it, there was a nationwide protest.  So the lighthouse still stands, to this day.

Red tower, gray tower

Unfortunately, the Little Red Lighthouse is probably one of the worst-marked landmarks in the entire City of New York.  Stupidly, I didn't ask anyone how to find it.  It took us about 15 minutes of wandering around Washington Heights to find a sign saying "Little Red Lighthouse," and--our rotten luck--that sign led to an apparently-abandoned, poorly-maintained and isolated path with so few people on it that I told my husband that, if I'd been by myself, I would have turned around and gone back.  It took us about another 15 minutes of a less-than-pleasant walk to see people with strollers, and perhaps another 15 minutes and a few detours to find the entrance to the totally-unmarked path where they'd been walking.  Finally, we found the path,

En route down the path

leading through delightful, albeit noisy, parkland--hey, what do expect from a park that's built directly under a bridge?--

Traffic on the Hudson River, shot enroute

right down to the edge of the Hudson River and right up to the lighthouse.  Out came our smartphones.  (Eventually, I'll figure out how to upload photos from my smartphone and post one of them here.  July 4, 2013 update:  Uploaded photos and posted a few of them here.  Americans can consider this an Independence Day present.  Hope I can still remember how to do this in the future.  :)  )

Punster shoots Lighthouse

The park actually extends beyond the lighthouse--I'm not sure whether it's considered part of Riverside Park--but we'd spend quite enough time getting lost and, after resting our weary feet for a few minutes, went directly back up the path to Riverside Drive.

Shooting ducks--the humane way--from the path

Framed flora

Stone bridge over the path and under, um, not sure what

For those within commuting distance of Manhattan, here are the travel directions, now that we've figured them out the hard way:
  • Take the A train to 181st Street.  (The #1 to 181st Street will do, in a pinch, but it stops farther east, so the walk will be several blocks longer.)
  • Walk west on 181st Street until you reach Riverside Drive.
  • Turn right on Riverside Drive and walk a block or two to the pedestrian overpass/footbridge that'll take you over the highway (Henry Hudson Parkway?).  Turn left and walk over the overpass.
  • The overpass leads directly onto the path that'll take you down to the Hudson and the lighthouse.  (Keep your eyes open for bicycles, as this is a shared path.)  Enjoy!
Warning:  Washington Heights is called "heights" for a reason--I've heard that it stands at the highest elevation level of the entire island of Manhattan.  The walk back up from the Hudson is not for the weak of legs--my guess is that we walked up the equivalent of roughly six stories, if not more, to get back up to Riverside Drive.

Riverside Drive from near the top of the path,
including view of pedestrian overpass.
This is just the end of the walk up, folks.
Note:  The cars you see are on the Henry Hudson Parkway--
Riverside  Drive is up where the white fence and the apartment buildings are.

It's a good thing that the path doesn't go straight up.

For a previous tour or two, see New Yorkers touring New York.
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