Why NYC loves the Catskills
And how the views compare

I‘ll never forget the view …

From the top of the Empire State Building.

New York City’s water supply

For me the biggest highlight was the water fountain. I filled up my drinking bottle, chugged it and filled it up again. Not a hint of chlorine, its was as refreshening a drink I ever had. And in the middle of not just any city, but one of the biggest in the world. How was it even possible? New York City gets its water piped in via aqueducts over a hundred miles away from the Catskill Mountains. I’ll never regret paying $40 — or was it $80? — to take in the view and just at the right time, as daylight gave way to twilight and then dusk. Looking out at all the windows lighting up, I thought about all the lives and dramas that played out in each one, and how none of it would be possible without all the mountain fresh water being piped in across watershed lines.

In a previous life I hiked the Catskill Mountains with my brother, to the top of one of it’s 35 one-thousand foot high peaks, or in other words — about the exact same height as the view from the top of the Empire State building, with the exception that there was no gridlock below or millions of people moving about, just rolling green hills as far as the eye could see.

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