Alison Rand A Place Called Grace

My new oasis during the dark days of the pandemic

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Dea, my poodle dogster, and I are so fortunate. We live next to the new Riverside Park South addition to the already exiting Riverside Park South on NYC’s Upper West Side. It had been a project in progress for over two years and just a short time ago this new part of the park opened to the public. It is my new oasis, a real refuge from the anxiety of feeling hermetic and bottled up in my apartment. It’s a place to just breathe a sigh and try to relax during these dark days of Covid-19, even if it’s for only a short time.

All during the early days of Covid-19, Dea and I took our daily, and very necessary walks in Riverside Park, trying for four miles a day. We had witnessed construction that never appeared to evolve into anything. There was an abundance of dust, soot, grit and workmen smoking all over the park and then, on one recent day, the gates and blockades suddenly came down and opened. It was like we entered OZ, an entirely new world, but without the wicked witch. Even though we are living with Covid, being in this new park feels magical and surreal.

Nature, for me, has always been my savoir from stress and anxiety and with this new addition to Riverside Park South, there is a feeling of being closer to nature. On the top of the promenade, there are gardens with purple and red flower bushes dispersed throughout, and so many new benches for me and Dea to try out. Some benches are facing the flowers and others are near the  two extra-large wooden picnic tables. For Dea and me, the best ones are facing the river with an unobstructed view. Read more