Monday, September 26, 2011

New York-A Walkable City-Filled with Art

Walking is good for the mind, body and soul. Many great writers were avid walkers, including spiritual writers. Walking clears the mind and inspires too. It's a great form of exercise and a good way to relax and reduce stress. It has many benefits which is why I was happy to read that New York City was listed as number one in a list of most walkable cities for 2011. According to an online article from titled, "Ten Most Walkable Cities for 2011," by Jason Notte, "Manhattan's 16 miles long and two miles wide and has been walkable since the days when the only other transportation option involved an animal. Densely packed areas such as Brooklyn's Fort Green, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens and Bay Ridge, Queens' Sunnyside and Astoria/Long Island City and the South Bronx, University Heights and Fordham neighborhoods in the Bronx are giving Manhattan a run for the money thanks to tightly packed areas that are only increasing in density..."
I recently took a walking tour of Central Park which was incredibly interesting. The tour group coincidentally walked "right into" the Parks Commissioner of NY, who was on his way to his office in Central Park. The tour guide knew him personally and waved hello and he was very pleasant and welcomed us to Central Park. A true New York experience....
Yesterday I walked around the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Ave. Walking outdoors or indoors in NYC can be an amazing cultural experience. The MET has so many masterpieces that it is overwhelming to view them one after another. It's hard to take it all in and though I've been there many times, I'm always inspired by the creativity and beauty of the art exhibited there.
Pope Benedict has spoken many times about his wish to "renew the Church's friendship with the world of art." He has said, "Beauty....can become a path toward the transcendent, toward ultimate Mystery, toward God." This past summer at Castel Gandolfo he told pilgrims, "Dear friends, I invite you to be open to beauty and to allow it to move you to prayer and praise of the Lord." He explained how the "path of beauty can be an open door on the infinite and is something experienced by all people, not merely those who regard themselves as cultured."
The beauty of art and the beauty of nature has always moved me toward the transcendent.

The world is a mirror of infinite beauty...It is a temple of majesty..It is a region of light and peace. It is the place of angels and the gate of heaven. Thomas Traherne