“and they shall beat their swords into plowshares…neither shall they learn war any more” -Isaiah 2:4
The plowshares movement constituted a powerful protest from a non-violent religious bloc of nuns and priests that would break into army bases to sabotage the nuclear weapons that were nestled away therein. The plowshare instrument was an agricultural tool used to reap the harvest from hardworking farmers around the world. And plowshares coffee is a bitchin coffee shop nestled away in the Upper West Side, providing freshly roasted offerings. I was there on a July 4th celebrating a patriotic day with coffee and a trip to Riverside Park.
The coffee was a revelation. It was light and floral, with many delicious notes to sample from start to end. Even on a hot day in July it was extremely drinkable. It is definitely one of the better drip coffees on offer in New York.
From there it was a short walk to Riverside Park and one of it’s iconic attractions: the traveling rings. Modeled after the popular Santa Monica attraction, the rings actually date back over a hundred years where public baths would hang them over swimming pools. Here we had the warm sand to ground us and we raced across, one ring in tow, building up momentum to get to the next one, rowing our way across. It’s as close to feeling like Tarzan you will come to in this life. In addition to the challenge, it’s absolute murder on your forearms and palms so be sure to bring plenty of chalk and gloves with you if you want to check it out yourself.
Riverside Park offers a lot more: beach courts for volleyball, beautiful walks along the Hudson, and even a bar-restaurant for those seeking a more sedentary adventure.
After a day of the rings I went back to Plowshares for more. The drip coffee inspired me to try their cold brew while I was in the neighborhood. It was good, but not unusually better than other offerings in the city and a bit pricey comparatively.
This was definitely a seasonal adventure and as more cold days arrive in New York the rings will be hanging empty. Get there on a warm day whenever you can and enjoy.