Grand Old Buildings

A Quick Detour to Wave Hill

Wave Hill In A Couple Of Hours

With my lust for old houses and Hudson River views, a friend suggested visiting Wave Hill, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Original parts of the Wave Hill house have been dated back to 1843, built by lawyer William Lewis Morris, and offers breathtaking views across the river to the New Jersey Palisades. As there are numerous houses with those priceless Hudson River views closer to home, I didn’t give her suggestion much thought. After all, why would I want to go to the Bronx? I’d grown up in that vicinity, and there was no reason to go back.

As fate would have it, we had to go to the Bronx for something on a sunny Sunday afternoon — Riverdale, to be exact. Something told me to check where Wave Hill was and it was literally just around the corner.  I plugged in the address into the GPS with T thinking the location was set to “home”, so he unassumingly followed the directions. Before he knew it, he had been diverted and was in a small parking lot with someone was asking him for $8 for parking plus another $16 for admission for the two of us. As I reached for my purse, he questioned what for, and I said to just give the man the money and he’d see what for in a little bit. Begrudgingly, he handed over $24 without really knowing why, and the parking attendant handed him a map. A small argument ensued all while this was taking place and continued as we walked the path to gardens. I wasn’t expecting to spend the day there or pay anything out of pocket, my intention was to do a drive-by and get a quick glimpse of the place. The parking lot just crept up on us, but already being there, I had to seize the opportunity. T grumbled and groaned about having to unexpectedly pay $24 unexpectedly, but did so dutifully. It wasn’t so much the $24 dollars, but he thought I was taking him on a 5-minute pit stop that cost $24.

The map we were handed seemed a little daunting, as the grounds seemed really large based on the number of features there were to see within Wave Hill and he griped about how it would take all day to cover this, and his frustration was starting to rub off on me. Without really even entering the gardens, I asked if he wanted to leave, and if so, we could just leave. Once we entered the grounds, though, he was a totally different person. The greenhouse we first came across had some sort of magical soothing powers and he was transformed into that charming guy I know and love. Map in hand, he had the idea of making this a mini-sort-of-marathon, seeing how much ground we could cover, just to appease me, and still salvage part of the afternoon. What he forgot was that we were in Riverdale and everything is more compact than you usually find once you head further north.

The greenhouse, gardens, trees that have seen many more years than we will ever see, tropical specimens that must come indoors in the winter, and old but extremely well-kept buildings, all topping off the Hudson River, put him at ease and he started enjoying himself and slowed down a little. The view of the Hudson River cannot be beat, whether looking at it through a gazebo or perched on the overlook. Before you knew it, we had pretty much covered everything and still had a chance to take it all in

Sculptured gardens, water gardens, and wooded areas are just a few of the many features that makes this such a serene area of the Bronx. Venture off to a distant part of the property, you’ll even come across beehives and honeybees.

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