Action-packed summer planned at Amsterdam's many parks
AMSTERDAM Residents can enjoy free yoga in the city’s parks this summer, among the many scheduled activities this year. Eileen Mazanek-Santiago, who runs a small yoga school called Serendipitte out of her home, is offering free yoga in Veterans Field on three Saturday mornings in June, July and August.
Mazanek-Santiago, a city resident, graduated in May from the Sivanada Ashram in the Bahamas. The free yoga classes are part of what she calls karma yoga and are recommended by her senior instructors as a way of giving back to her community.
The classes are between 75 and 90 minutes long and begin at 10:30 a.m. They are designed to be appropriate for all age levels and stages of yoga and include a lot of meditation, along with yoga practice, Mazanek-Santiago said.
The classes occur rain or shine, unless there is thunder and lightening.
Mazanek-Santiago said she has held two classes so far, which included about a dozen people.
“It is just wonderful to be outside and connect with nature that way,” she said. “You’re doing yoga and listening to the birds and all the outdoor noises. It’s a big difference and I really enjoy it.”
In the rain, classes will be held in the Veteran’s Field Pavilion. “If it’s raining you have the pitter-patter of the rain,” she said.
Besides yoga, a new Learn-to-Swim program for underprivileged children is starting this year at the city pool in Veterans Park. The pool is scheduled to open this year at the beginning of July.
City officials decided not to fund a new pool house this year. Mayor Ann Thane said crews patched up the existing pool house and hope the 65-year-old building will make it another year.
Veterans Park will also host its Wednesday night Movies in the Park series Wednesdays at dusk starting June 30 with “Grease.”
Thane said she is particularly looking forward to evenings at the Riverlink Park Cafe, where vendor Bob Kirkum is returning for the second year. Thane said Kirkum brings out white linens and crystal for dinner served on the outdoor patio Thursday through Sunday.
Visitors to Riverlink Park should see a lot of construction activity adjacent to the park as work to expand the facility starts. Thane said the work should have no effect on the developed park area, which includes a playground, dock space and patio.
The summer concert series on Saturday evenings in Riverlink Park is scheduled to begin July 10, according to Paul Gavry of the Waterfront Foundation, which organizes the series.
The Amsterdam Mohawks will bring thousands to Shuttleworth Park this summer, but the newest attraction at the park is a walking trail along the Chuctanunda Creek.
“It’s going to be a very lovely summer,” Thane said, “Between yoga, learn-to-swim, the Mohawks, the restaurant at Riverlink Park and concerts on Saturday night, we have some really wonderful stuff going on.”