"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The New York air is crisp again. The cool of autumn rolls in, slow and steady, like an ocean liner. This signals not only a permanent respite from the heat of summer, but that apples are ripe for the picking. Apple picking in New York and New England is an idyllic way to waste a Saturday. With my boys in town for the week, it means the perfect chance to escape the city for the weekend, create some lasting memories, and actually eat apples plucked right off the branch. Just the way Mother Nature intended.
We head up to Masker Orchards just an hour outside of Manhattan with some friends. A haze of fog lingers just above the stunted tree tops. The Hudson Valley morning is overcast, the air still wet from the night before. It quenches whatever thirst we've mustered on the drive up as we breathe it in. Apple donuts (tasty), hot dogs (not even remotely close to tasty), a haunted house, pony rides, and suburbia cover the base of the orchard. We make a beeline to the Red Delicious patch, meandering from tree to tree like pollinating bees. I reach to the sky and come down with a Delicious that swallows my hand. The first bite is crisp, light, and makes that hollow cracking sound.
It's clean. Pure. Crisp. It tastes like life starting all over again.