When I need a break from my small-town life, crossing the Walkway in Poughkeepsie feels like a breath of fresh air (literally)!
After a few hectic weeks of running around New York trying to absorb all the impressions of a new country and capturing every memorable moment, fresh air and clear thoughts were all that I needed.
So last Friday, I took the bus to the Poughkeepsie waterfront and jumped on the 21-stories-high elevator to the Walkway. The sun was up, but the clouds made sure it wasn’t too hot (the perfect weather for a stroll, if you ask me). Normally I don’t suffer from a fear of heights, but I couldn’t help holding the railing a bit tighter when I saw how high up the elevator was going.
The bridge opened in 1889 and was used by freight and passenger trains, until a fire destroyed the tracks in 1974. Now a walkway open for the public, it’s a major historic site and people flock from all over the Valley just to hang out or exercise on the bridge.
As expected, the Walkway was crowded with people. Most of them were walking, while others were running or biking. The tourist that I am, I took out my camera (alright, it’s just an iPhone) as soon as I came out of the elevator. I had to snap a picture from every possible angle and post it on every social media account I have (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it).
As I came to the middle of the Walkway, I noticed the customized brass medallions with the names of Americans engraved in the middle. I later found out that they were welded into the railings to honor those who contributed with $10,000 or more to the maintenance of the Walkway. On both sides of the Walkway, there are benches placed to honor those who have donated $50,000 or more. The Walkway probably wouldn’t have been what it is today if it weren’t for these amazing men and women who contributed from their own pockets — incredible, right?
I sat on one of the benches, closed my eyes, and breathed in all that fresh air. I don’t know how long I sat there, but I quickly decided that this place was going to be my little sanctuary. Can I please just stay here forever?
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