A Slice of NYC Paradise

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At first and most importantly, may God and Meishu-Sama bless all the people who have been severely affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and others to come!

Weather and climate change are all man-made according to Meishu-Sama. I will think and act virtuously for recovery in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida who may have helped New Yorkers when Hurricane Sandy hit NYC.
My beloved summer in the city is still on which is absolutely a gift from God. I was a map addict with a passion of NYC took a close look at the Bronx bus map last month. My eyes went to the small island on the east of the largest park in the city Pelham Bay Park. It was City Island where I had not been there. Summer is the best time to explore waterfront area, enjoy a nice breeze, and spectacular views of the river, bay, and harbor in NYC.

Among many other NYC exploration, I had the longest commute (3 hours and 15 minutes!) from my apartment in Staten Island to the southernmost tip of the island Belden Point. As soon as I got off the bus on the island, I found myself standing somewhere I had never been. It did not look like anywhere else. That may be the reason it is called NYC’s Martha’s Vineyard.

When I arrived at Belden Point on Labor Day at 10:00 am, I saw only a few people hanging around. It was extremely quiet and nothing but peaceful. Only seagulls were flying and making some noise. I appreciate God and Meishu-Sama having taken me to such a paradise-like island. It was love at the first sight. Not only did the island exude New England flavor and atmosphere, but the Islanders were also very friendly.

Unfortunately, City Island Nautical Museum was closed in observance of Labor Day, yet Roberto and Yirong who live near the museum said hello, volunteered tour guides, and took others and me to the secret place (but open to the public, though) where visitors can enjoy the spectacular view of City Island Harbor and Hart Island. I am exceedingly fortunate to have such kind-hearted friends.

My fortune, however, did not last long due to my terrible technophobe that has nothing to do with the adorable island. While I was cleaning up the storage in my cell phone two weeks ago, I mistakenly deleted all the pictures I had taken there. No redo was allowed. I just wanted to cry and blamed on my stupidity. I, however, decided to visit there again to write about my extremely precious experience on the island this summer. As a result, I visited two weekends in a row. At this time, I still keep my pictures on my cell phone and won’t click any mysterious button until I finish writing and posting my travelogue to share my priceless exploration with my friends!

Surrounded by Long Island Sound and Eastchester Bay, this 230-acre island is protected by NYC’s largest park, Pelham Bay so that everyone can enjoy its maritime oasis’s tranquility all year round.
In 1654, Thomas Pell, an Englishman, became the first European to hold the entire island – I found Pell Place on the island which may have named after him. By the mid-19th century, oyster industry in the island was booming. It was also a perfect place for the shipbuilding industry because of its waterfront, harbor, and deep water. In the 20th century, the island has become mostly residential, and most islanders work in Manhattan (Why not The Bronx?). By 1982, the last boatyard had closed. The main street City Island Avenue where antique shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants are located is an ideal place for art lovers and foodies.

The photos are of me and Belden Point and the church where Mr. Soto and Ms. Chen married and live happily ever after on City Island, a slice of NYC paradise. Additional photos on my Facebook page... Welcome, Yokoso!

By Junko Inaga

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