Monday, May 19, 2008

A Waterfall near Saks

Ahh! The refreshing sound of rushing water

Dear Postcard from New York Reader,

Almost every woman's nirvana is a day of serious shopping. Start at Bloomies, next, walk over to Barney's, peek in Crate and Barrel, lunch at Bergdorf's, then head for the shops on Fifth Avenue, Prada, Escada, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Henri Bendel and Takashimaya. The round's almost complete; last stop, Saks. Despite the cool air-conditioned store interiors, New York's summer heat and humidity has left you down at the shoulders and a bit wilted.

With several bags hanging from shoulders and in each hand, you emerge from the revolving doors at Saks. Maybe you have some time before meeting your spouse or a friend for dinner or the theatre, where to go when you don't really feel in the mood to sit down in a restaurant for an iced coffee or tea? What to do?

Walk three blocks up Fifth Avenue to 53rd Street, cross to the north side of the street, turn right and head east toward the East River. Before you have taken several steps, your ears perk up at the sound of cascading water; your head quickly turns left in response to discover an unexpected waterfall in a tiny open space almost hidden between towering buildings.

It's an only New York feature called a "vest pocket park." A few steps up and you are in it, surrounded by comfortable garden chairs and large stone pots filled with golden mums.

Drop those bags in a nearby chair, pull over a table and sit for a minute, or two or more. Allow the hypnotic sound and cooling breeze of splashing water to work its magic. Like a soothing balm, the waterfall soon dissolves the restless go-go-go frenetic pace of Fifth Avenue shoppers, calms agitated nerves and revives one's spirits.

Ten minutes pass, then fifteen, soon a half-hour or longer; it's easy to loose track of time here.

Before you go, walk really close to the falls, lean your head forward, hear the thundering crash of falling water. Breathe in a last deep breath, close yours eyes. There, now you are ready to go...refreshed and revived after the perfect cure for shopper's fatigue.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Address to Remember: East 53rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

Directions: From Times Square MTA E to 5th Avenue and 53rd Street.

P.S. If you love waterfalls don't miss the spectacular man-made waterfalls at four sites along the East River through October 13 from 7 AM to 10 PM. Circle Line Downtown gives free half-hour tours on the water departing from Pier 16 at South Street Seaport. For details visit

Photo by Joseph Knight

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