We went down to the City this weekend and stayed in our old apartment, currently inhabited by my father, for a night. In the morning, I walked to get a latte at Indian Road, our old favorite brunch place, and then wandered through the park to the Isham Road Farmers’ Market, where I bought us muffins–corn raspberry and pumpkin cranberry.
Inwood is an amazing neighborhood, and when I’m there, I feel the way I used to feel about the Upper West Side, and the way I imagine most people used to feel about the city as a whole. Inwood is a perfect little neighborhood that just happens to be part of one of the biggest, most famous cities in the world; it makes the city feel small and kind and like a patchwork of important places.
When we were moving from Albany to NYC (not to be confused with when we more recently moved from NYC to Albany), we had no idea what neighborhood we should live in, and had never really heard of Inwood. We decided we would take one Saturday and travel down the A/1 corridor until we found the neighborhood that suited us best. Within thirty seconds of starting the journey, we were sold. We emerged from the Dyckman Street A stop and were confronted with a temporary closure of Broadway for a Little League parade. There were people cheering on the kids from both sides of the street.
We wandered over to Payson Avenue, which runs along and the base of a long hill (Inwood Hill?) and Inwood Hill Park, and declared it the Most Darling Street In the World. And, though we were already in love, nothing could have sealed the deal more than what happened next: we turned a corner and ran into the Isham Farmers’ Market, which runs throughout the year on Saturdays. The first farm stand we saw belonged to Samascott Orchards, one of the two primary orchards from my home town of Kinderhook. Subsequent farm stands belonged to Our Daily Bread, Ronnybrook Farms, and Hawthorne Valley. It was as if the whole of Columbia County had brought their wares down to this one specific, geographically convenient market.
Later, when we lived there and I was bringing our dog to a playgroup in Isham Park, I learned that many in the neighborhood refer to Inwood as “Upstate Manhattan,” which is just about right.