you're reading...

Write every day: A living example of what NYC looked like before colonization

I love to think about what New York looked like before it was New York and before the U.S. was colonized. Yesterday, my dog, Phineas, and I got to walk through a living breathing example of it. Riverdale Park in the Bronx is what’s known as a protected 50-acre Forever Wild area. The southern part of the park where we went is covered by the same type of forest that existed in pre-colonial times with tulip, 5 species of oak, black birch, and hickory trees as tall as 110-feet. The woods are on their way to becoming a mature or “climax” forest – a forest whose shade-tolerant seedlings will survive beneath their parents. Twenty-seven species of birds are also found here, including the screech owl.

The Raoul Wallenberg Forest is located across the street from Riverdale Park, and is named in honor of a Swedish diplomat who is credited with saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis during World War II. His death and disappearance after being imprisoned are a mystery, and for his courage and acts of heroism he was named an honorary U.S. citizen. This forest contains many trees with trunks more than 30 inches in diameter. Dozens of species of birds, including downy woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and white-throated sparrows, can be found there.

The bedrock of Riverdale is 1-billion-year-old Fordham gneiss, the oldest rock formation in New York City. On top of the gneiss, lies Inwood marble, which was once quarried in Riverdale for the production of lime. The Palisades cliffs that you can see across the river were carved by glaciers during the last ice age that started 2.6 million years ago.

Phin and I are looking forward to exploring the northern part of the park and the historic section of Riverdale very soon!



About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


No comments yet.

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Me On Twitter

My Goodreads

Follow me on Instagram

No Instagram images were found.

Translate this blog to another language

%d bloggers like this: