Random encounters. I love them. The uncertainty and unknown that comes along with meeting and getting to know new people is what makes these moments beautiful and memorable. Whenever I meet someone new I am so curious what it will evolve into. I’ve never been a “first impression” person. I always like to get to know more about people and discover their personality step by step. Sometimes they unexpectedly turn into a really meaningful connection, sometimes they disappear as fast as they came into my life. Though I try not to have expectations and take things as they happen, there are times when I am disappointed. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying life and being grateful for the endless possibilities of future random encounters.
I once randomly asked a guide about his off the beaten path recommendations for New York. This is how I ended up on a day trip to City Island in the Bronx, which is a well-kept secret even for New Yorkers. And just like with people, I love “meeting” new places that surprise me and make me uncover my city in a different way. I’m inviting you to a “random encounter” which I think will not disappoint you.
City Island is a small community at the edge of New York City just beyond Pelham Bay Park – which is actually the biggest park in NYC, contrary to the popular belief that Central Park is. You can reach it in about one hour and a half from Manhattan – just take the 6 line to the end and then Uber or bus to the island.
The first stop you should make on the island is at the Nautical Museum which used to be a school. That’s where you will find more about the history and you’ll see wooden boats and photos of the past.
Strolling around the houses and empty streets on a sunny November day is a pleasure in itself. I was surprised there is almost no waterfront walking area, but it’s all to the benefits of the people who live here: each house has its own private beach.
Walk to the South Minneford Yacht Club to get a view of the boats and even go sail if the time allows.
Visit this funky vintage toy store Play 239 housed in a 19th century building. I only bought a vintage postcard, but there were so much more cool and unthinkable things. Read more about the store here.
With so much walking around and exploring, I get hungry and go to the south end of the island (15 minutes walking distance) to get what the locals think is the best seafood on the island: Johnny’s Reef is famous for its soft shell crab. Yummy!
Ending the trip with the perfect sunset view. Here’s to perfect encounters!