by Marlene Berlin
My friends and family know I don’t let cold weather keep me in. I set out after Tuesday’s snowfall to find the neighborhood’s most popular sledding spots, and soon found I was not the only one out enjoying the snow. The hillside at the Carnegie Institution (at 5251 Broad Branch Rd.) was buzzing with kids, moms and dads taking their sleds out for a spin.
I felt a bit of nostalgia for my own sledding days. My younger sister, older brother and I would wait for my dad to shutter his dental office, and off we’d traipse to Woodlawn Hill, which drew many from our town in central Pennsylvania. We would sled in the dark with just enough light from the street and town to give us a sight line. I would jump on my brother’s back as he steered us through the trees at what seemed like breakneck speeds. Nothing could be more thrilling.
As for the other sledding spots in Forest Hills, our alley was vacant with no telling signs of sledding. The Intelsat park was closed up. And one mom with her two children were leaving the Howard Law School hill just as I came upon them. The mom told me they’d had the hill all to themselves.
Of course I could not help but take notice the condition of sidewalks and ramps along the way. The fire station at Connecticut and Fessenden had not shoveled its walk. Heading south on Connecticut, I saw unshoveled sidewalks in the usual spots: The triangle on the eastern side of Connecticut at Fessenden and 36th Streets, and on the west side of Connecticut, the uncleared sidewalks around Grant Park (between Ellicott and Everett), including the bus stop area. Curb ramps were clotted with snow at the SW corners of Yuma, at Veazey near the elevator at the Metro Station, and at Tilden. Gold’s Gym gets the prize for the worst shoveled walk at Van Ness.
It was a joy to be out in the bracing cold on a lovely wintry day. I have missed them.