Inspired by what beautiful weather we were having on Sunday, I decided to take a trip to a far away, exotic location that I hardly ever visit: Queens. What was my lure you might ask, why a little known park named after a man every Columbia student gets to know quite well during their LitHum days: Socrates.
The Socrates Sculpture Park is open 365 days a year from 10am till sunset and offers some of the best views of Roosevelt Island and the East River. I took the N train a short 15 minute trip from Times Square to the Broadway Station stop and walked a few blocks West to Vernon Boulevard. Just when I was starting to fear that I had gotten lost, signs appeared directing me towards the park, and advertising its 20th anniversary. I could not believe that it had been around for 20 years! How had I never heard of it before!
I, with renewed sense of purpose, continued my journey and was pleasantly surprised by what greeted me. A huge sign over the park’s entrance has one simple and comforting word: ART, that for me speaks of a new regular hangout. I smiled, whipped out my camera, and was floored by what I saw.
Live music being performed on a small stage, people fishing in the East River, tons of families having picnics, college-aged kids playing Frisbee, and plenty of art scattered throughout the grounds. It seemed like the best of all possible worlds here. I could sit and enjoy the day, live music and art all at once and completely for free!
My excursion left me feeling so rewarded. I got to explore a new part of a borough that I normally avoid, I found a new park that I really enjoy, and I was back in my familiar haunts: Manhattan, in less than 30 minutes. All in all the Socrates Sculpture Park is a cultural sight that definitely deserves more recognition and more visitors!
Mary Baird CC ’10