A few Saturdays ago, Kenjo and I went to Storm King for the day. It had been a plan in the making for some time. Something in the stars had kept us from getting there in the weeks prior, but finally; that day – October 28th – we were going. The car was booked.
Of course, I was ready to go about an hour and a half before Kenjo actually got his butt to my door, and then we felt too rushed to go to Whole Foods and buy picnic food (we can just get food there at the cafe, I told myself). But we had a plan to stop at a diner on the way, and so we did. It wasn’t, sadly, particularly charming; the food was okay. But, anyway, the drive was nice, right along the Hudson, and we listened to music and watched the fall leaves rush by.
When we got to Storm King, we parked the car and hiked our way back to the visitor’s center to grab food to walk with, thinking we could have a sort of picnic situation. But of course we soon realized that we should, in fact, have stopped at Whole Foods, because the café line was horrendous. But we waited anyway, and got some canned wine to calm our nerves, and then of course they had no bags and I had left mine a half a mile away in the car, so Kenjo had to carry our sandwich around in his back pocket all afternoon. So our day was off to a somewhat shaky start. It was 2pm by this point and Kenjo had a sandwich in his back pocket. Oh, and they only had boxed water, and we had to carry that too.
But, man did that day turn perfect. Storm King is a magical place, if I’ve ever seen one. Whoever founded it, whoever funds it, whoever dreamed it up, is, are, just wonderful. (We can all look up that information later.) You walk into Storm King, through forest, and this PLACE just opens up to you that’s not quite all open – it twists and turns around so that, in one moment, you’re in a completely different landscape than the next, surrounded by art and nature that creates a different feeling in each vignette. It feels mystical. And there are people all around, but there is so much space that each group exists in its own world, picnicking and strolling and sitting and interacting with the art and the trees.
We took a long stroll around one large part of it and watched the whole thing transform several times. We went from field to hill to beautiful row of fiery red trees to forest to lake to field to another beautiful field. At one point we took a little sun nap – the weather was perfect. At another point, we laid underneath a giant sculpture for twenty minutes waiting for it to make a sound. And we took photos the whole time on our little Pentax. And we ate our sandwich at one point and it was DELICIOUS – the chicken arugula; I recommend it.
We drove back just as they were starting to close, feeling like we’d seen just enough and had the perfect escape from our usual Saturday urbanities. The giant sculptures were like magical dunes that sucked out all of my city anxieties. We sang Justin Bieber on the car ride home.
[We did plan some amendments to our trip next time (I kept talking about "next time," much to Kenjo's chagrin, the entire time we were there) in case anyone needs tips: we would go the exact same time of year, because the leaves were PERFECTLY turned. But we would leave earlier, stop at Whole Foods to get a full picnic complete with wine (which we would put in a backpack, probably, to carry around)… And we would get there earlier, around noon at least, so we had time to see more and stop at an orchard on the way home for coffee and apple cider donuts. The end.]