What Color is Your Parachute? It's an anthem, probably not what you think
Miss Lucy's Lady With the Alligator Purse

On Walking


I walked up this hill barefoot once. This was after the three quarter circle around the office park which is maybe half a mile, give or take. There is a lot of glass on this particular stretch of road, on just this side.

Are the bottles thrown by the driver on the way back? Or do the passengers help? This is College Road in Purchase, NY. The great thing about College Road is the great dip in the middle causing two great UPs, if hills are your thing. 

Hills are definitely my thing. I think of this particular part of my walk as being 'off prem'; my thoughts, my body, my naked just that one time feet, but not the client side of the operation. The client side of the operation is back in that parking lot.

College Road is short and it is also off-prem for three other major and possibly one or two minor (don't know) entities. At the top of College Road where the trees observe this bit of no-man's land, a right turn onto Manhattanville Road takes you straight to 684, either direction. Also, there appears to be a daycare facility at the bitter end.

If you make a hard left you will be forced to drive through the Corridor which is the two parts of Global MasterCard; the primary compound on the right and, I was never quite sure, on the left.

At the end of Manhattanville Road, you must do one of the following:

  • Turn left, surrendering to no more than five miles per hour over the speed limit, and head deep into Westchester, past some of the most expensive schools, um, anywhere, really.
  • Turn right onto New York State Route 120 (or it might be 120a just right here) toward the entrances to the Merritt Parkway or the Hutch, depending on the state in which you prefer to place your life in the hands of maybe the worst road rage I've experienced. Ever. In the entire world of my driving experience which is quite enough, thank you. New York State Route 120 and 120A both neatly bisect the states of New York and Connecticut, thereby defining two names for the same deathtrap. 
  • Conceivably you could just sit there and refuse. I've seen it happen.
  • Or, finally, you could turn the hell around and go back from whence you came which is a little difficult because the pickings are slim.

Take the left. Do it.

Three things will be occurring simultaneously if you are on foot; you will be walking on the correct side of the shoulder-less road, Oncoming traffic, having been forced to drive only five miles per hour over the speed limit, will be trying to kill you - swerving, honking, yelling - you know they're Parkway bound, right? And also you will be rapidly approaching the front gates to Manhattanville College. Just under 80k per year, all things totaled up. Not a bad deal around here. The boarding school I am most familiar with is only 52k per year. I think. 

The front gates of Manhattanville College are damned impressive. That's all I have to say about that. I didn't even know they existed until the night I got lost as shit and I have to admit to much preferring the back entrance. 

If you keep driving, eventually 120 is called King Street and eventually King Street bisects 117 which is Bedford South and Bedford North depending on, again, another left or right. King Street zigs to the right, zags to the left and runs right down into the valley of Chappaqua which is all of about one more mile at best. 

Back up though, I'm still looking for the makers of shattered glass. Rewind back to the trees. I turn around at the trees and head back down the hill. I bypass the entrance to the office park and continue on to the place of three back doors. This is my favorite part of the walk, and generally there isn't any glass.

Just before the very end of College Road there are two offshoots on the right. The first is broken asphalt and weeds. It is out of place. The second isn't much better but you can see with some certainty that it is the back entrance to Manhattanville College and a pass is required to get your vehicle through the unmanned gates. 

At the very end of College Road there is a wall. The wall doesn't block the road but the sign very clearly states - turn the hell around right now. This is 3 College Road and this is not a backdoor. The sign indicates that all deliveries and visitors must go to the main entrance (but isn't this 3 College Road?) and the grounds, just past the wall clearly indicate that Keio Academy is, indeed (at least partially), concerned with maintaining your child's Japanese sense of esthetics if nothing else. At 50+ a year, I also want a damn fine education. The sign reads: no walk-throughs. I am obedient and turn around at exactly the wall.

And then I head up the dusty back entrance of Manhattanville College where I can see the faculty housing which I thought were student dorms which looked rather nice until I got lost up there and that was my way back. I stop at the gates because they don't want me any further. Sometimes I keep going but mostly I turn around, because this is so much more entertaining, and make the next left which leads directly to the Scary Man's house. 

I don't know what he's doing there or why but I do know that if I hold my breath and squint a bit, I can make it to the top of that little hill in one piece where I am confronted with 

That other side of Global Mastercard which is just as scary in its own way.

I walk here as often as possible anyway, having decided that the 12.956 percent chance of being hung up by my feet and stewed part by part for somebody's dinner is worth the risk of the full circle. I turn right and keep right on walking. I look at no one and I walk until I see the entrance which puts me right back onto Manhattanville Road. My office park is number 4 Manhattanville Road. I think. 

When I turn out of the MasterCard drive I am looking right at my trees. Still on the other side of the road, but at my trees. One night I was so damn glad to see those trees I started running and fell right on my face. My chin was bleeding but the phone and car key were fine. Later I started to run again and tripped going up a step because I had to pee so bad (having been lost for about two hours) and then my forehead was bleeding and my wrist looked like I'd poked a stick through it. Not broken. Just a stick. 

Now I walk with my long stride with a purpose up and down those hills and around through the second MasterCard campus and back down the hill again. If I have a twelve minutes, I go back the way I came. If I am late, I continue on the circle until I get to building four and that is that. Except for the running up and down all those flights of stairs. 

Back on the first question. Where does all that glass come from? On the way in or on the way out? The students at Keio Academy graduate at 18 and go elsewhere. There are many parking spaces on the College campus and I do mean MANY. If I were a student with a car I would not come in and out the front gate after dark. The gatehouse is occupied. I do not want a flashlight or face in my car. Maybe that is why the bottles are all in one place? 

I would camp out and watch some weekend but I've already been questioned by my own security regarding my pervasive need to walk in circles for hours in the evening if it's been a difficult day. 

I think - though - that the real question is why was I walking barefoot in the first place?

Avoiding the glass or not, my feet bled for two weeks and I haven't made the mistake since.