Sometimes, summer in the the city is too darn hot and you just need to get out of town. On Sundays in May, when classes finished, I started to take the MetroNorth to explore the Hudson valley with a friend. The train, which starts in Grand Central, stops at Harlem (my stop) and then winds its way slowly along the river 80 odd miles north to Poughkeepsie ( pronounced P’kipsy). It fills up quickly with couples and groups in their walking gear, and by Yonkers there is a pleasant buzz of conversation, like a party that is just getting going. The train runs right alongside the river at a sedate 1950s pace, and the retro feel is completed by ticket inspector with a deGaulle style cap clipping tickets energetically. No hanging chads on the 9.54 to Poughkeepsie.
This train ride will not appear in a guide book, but for me it has become the perfect andidote to the sirens and noise of the city.