Friday, March 7, 2014

NYC Antidote

Sometimes the idea of New York City is too overwhelming. When the polluted city air seems too much for the lungs and the hustle and bustle too much for the soul, the best cure is to flee eastward. Long Island boasts a calmer pace and some beautiful nature, if you can find it past the thick vowels and sprawling suburbs. I haven’t been able to explore as much as I’d like, but here’s a bit of what I’ve found so far.

The North Fork has an understated country charm. During the autumn months, flocks of city-folk and Long Islanders alike descend on the trails, vineyards, and orchards to enjoy the scenic countryside with their families. Farm stands pop up on the sides of the road, bursting with the bounty of the harvest: every autumn vegetable imaginable, as well as apple cider doughnuts (get a bag, they’ll be gone before you get home), honey, and flame-coloured mums.
There's pretty much one east-west road once you get out to the eastern end of the island, so cars can start to pile up as the day wears on. We pulled on our wellies and started out early in the morning with very sparse planning the night before. Once we got out to the North Fork, we found an orchard that looked satisfactory, parked the car on a designated grassy field, and got to picking.  

After we filled our bags (and tummies) with apples, we got back in the car and started off down the road a bit, until we decided we needed some coffee and a snack. Luckily, farm stands were everywhere. We parked the car and just wandered from farm to farm on foot.
This was the most adorable, whitewashed farm stand run by some Polish ladies, who cheerfully made us coffee. Of course they'd be cheerful, because next to their farm stand was a vast field of sunflowers. How could you not be happy next to a field of sunflowers?

At one point we had a cheeky go on some wheeled-contraptions that were just asking to be taken for a whirl…

It might be worth noting that this strand of "going to the country" is of the touristy city-folk civilised variety. It's not the kind of bushwhacking, mud stomping country where you have supplies strapped to the horse, need wellies to make it through a foot of sludge, and where your hands turn red from the damp and batting branches away from your face. Our wellies got a bit dusty, and we warmed our hands with some fresh, buttery corn on the cob that we munched on at a picnic table. Sometimes that's the kind of country outing I like. No fuss, paved roads, and food.

The typical Long Island fog and wandering around wore us out by the afternoon, so we piled back in the car (apple cider doughnuts in tow) and headed back towards civilisation, very content with our day spent in the country - the best antidote to the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment