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Things I Love About Nyack

by John Gromada

I thought it would be healthy after the election season, to contemplate all the great details that make Nyack (or the Nyacks), the place we love. Though I must say that those who think this election was nasty, or overly contentious have seen nothing compared to some past campaigns and controversies. All in all I would have to congratulate everyone for keeping things civil.

So here is the start of a list. Feel free to add your own (or to disagree). I may add some more as I think of them:

Hearing the beautiful cacophony of bells rung on some Sundays at the Russian Orthodox Church.

Watching the crops grow higher and higher at the Community Garden in the summer.

Talking Yankees baseball with Sean at the Sean Juan Cafe, and watching him flirt with my daughters.

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Seeing multiple rainbows on the river after a late afternoon rain.

Watching the High School students paint the windows for Halloween.

The fresh roast beef (and pretty much everything else) at Gracie’s Ravioli.

Crepes (and pretty much everything else) at Didier Dumas.

Walking down Burd Street and hearing a congregation in song coming from a small storefront.

Hearing my neigbor have a guitar lesson/jam session on his front porch.

Summer concerts in the park with a picnic dinner.

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Walking through the cemetery on Oak Hill in fall.

Cliff walks on top of the Hook.

Win Perry’s halloween displays.

Watching the full moon rise over the river, particularly from a kayak.

The children’s librarians and programs at the Nyack Library.

Lester’s regular horseshoe sessions at the park.

Packed meetings at village hall and the intrigue leading up to them.

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Pupusas at Avipsa deli.

Jimmy and the Skylark.

The muni-meters (yes!)

Seeing people who you knew when they were little children become your babysitter.

The atmosphere and burgers at O’D’s.

The view of the river from the stone steps in Memorial Park.

Walking the streets and hearing kids practicing piano, saxophone, drums, or clarinet.

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Watching children grow up together at the playground at Memorial Park.

Walking up the hill at 6th Avenue to get your blood going.

The Nyack creek after a rain.

The Chocolaterie.

The raspberry trove in Memorial Park (I’m not saying where!).

The particular smell inside the natural food store.

The wiindow displays at Playing Mantis.

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Having a home birth where one of your midwives becomes a county legislator and the other is your neighbor from two doors away.

Block parties on First Avenue with apple dunking and root beer floats.

The sense of mystery one feels when looking into the Nyack creek tunnel in Memorial Park.

When the river is frozen solid across to Tarrytown (hasn’t happened in a while!)

Digging out after a blizzard and the sense of neighborly camraderie such storms seem to generate.

Kayaking on the river and running into a neighbor who’s out rowing.

Seeing beautiful old houses emerge from their cocoons when vinyl or aluminum siding is removed.

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Being able to do all one’s Christmas shopping downtown.

The Pickwick Book shop.

The idea that a ghost is (or was) in residence down on Laveta Place.

Approaching and walking through the front doors of the Nyack Library.

The murals at the Post Office.

The beautiful but invasive Japanese white clematis that blankets our bushes in August.

Seeing Bill Irwin come out of his house in full clown regalia.

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Having friendly relationships with people whom you’ve had bitter political disagreements with in the past.

Walking through the memorial garden at Grace Church.

Peeking through the windows of the American Legion Hall to see what kind of dass is in session.

Jazz at the Hopper House in the summer.’

Riding the train into the city and looking at the cliffs.

The energy inside Turiello’s on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Shopping at the Farmer’s Market.

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The bells of Grace Church.

Goosetown Halloween craziness.

The childrens’ summer science programs in the Park.

That on my block, almost none of my neighbors have traditional 9 to 5 office jobs.

Being able to walk everywhere.

The abundance of old Nyack roses in the spring.

The echoes of past inhabitants that emanate from old houses and buildings.

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