Thursday, July 4, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York on the Fourth of July.

It's a beautiful summer day, and the air is much more clear than it was earlier this week.  Yesterday's heat and humidity resulted in a series of very strong showers.  The rain was just tapering off last evening, just before sunset, as my colleagues and I closed the shop and began our walk to the subway station.  

What a delight to look up from under our umbrellas to see a very vivid rainbow arc against the eastern part of the sky.  We rejoiced at our fortune to see this spectacle and encouraged all other pedestrians along our bit of sidewalk to Look Up at that Rainbow.  Joy was shared and passed along.

Tonight there will be another spectacle in the sky over New York City, the annual fireworks display, sponsored by Macy's, the large department store.  The fireworks will be sent skywards from barges afloat in the Hudson River.

Although my posts usually feature Central Park, I thought it might be fun to take a different, western, direction in today's walk, so that I could show you a very different park area along the Hudson River, only a few blocks away from my home.

As I neared this entrance to the park, I saw Police Department equipment that will be in use tonight to help guide the thousands of folks who will be arriving to view the fireworks.

The walkway that I walked downhill from street level has a gentle slope and is used by pedestrians and cyclists.

As you walk towards the Hudson River, you leave behind an area dominated by huge apartment buildings.  Your path will take you under, yes under, the West Side Highway, and you will be well aware of the traffic passing overhead, as well as the pretty wildflowers planted along side of the pathway.  You might even see birds and bees.

You will become aware of the scent of the River, and find lots of open sky.

It's a wise idea to also keep an eye and ear out for bicycles, although most cyclists do seem to obey the signs.

Whenever I do visit this Park, I always have a slightly uncomfortable sense of disorientation.

The real estate developer Donald Trump likes to put his name on buildings.

As I neared "sea level" I glanced back to see the slope of the pathway.

At the base of the slope is a cafe.  It is not particularly attractive, but the location does have a good view.

New Jersey is on the opposite side of the Riber.

That is what the cafe patrons can see, if they stand up.  While seated, the view is of other patrons.

My favorite feature of this Park is the pier that extends at least a third of the way across the River.  On a clear day like today, there is much to see.

What surprised me this morning was that very few other folks were out for similar walks.  Tonight this area is going to be packed.

Can you see the ocean liner "parked" at a pier in the distance?

I am glad that some of the vintage riverside wharf features have been retained amid all the gleaming modern construction.

What a glorious day!

Looking north, the George Washington Bridge is just about visible on the far right of the following photo.

More blue sky and puffy clouds!

This mother and son had also decided it was a fine day to take some photographs.

Just lovely!

There was a bit of traffic on the River.  I also saw a crew team with their scull and a kayak propelled by a lone oarsman.

Another view.

Feeling aired out and rather relaxed, I turned around to walk back to shore side.  The clear plastic bags tied to the railings are there to collect rubbish.  All in all, this park is kept quite clean.

If you are thirsty, you can have a sip of water here.

Rather than retrace my steps homeward, I decide to continue my walk northward along the River side.  Overhead on my right is the noisy West Side Highway.

Here's a farewell view of that cafe.

There were a few roses blooming, and I could not resist a photograph.  After all, this is a park.

Here you can see the tide coming in, and also a view of the pier I'd walked along.

I actually do know some folks who've kayaked along the Hudson.  Here is an entry point for those brave sailors.

Here is another view of the underside of the Highway.

A few folks seemed to be preparing for a Fourth of July picnic.

A little farther along, I neared the 79th Street Boat Basin.  Some folks actually live on boats that are docked here.

I didn't see much human activity over there this morning.

It's important not to have any waterway reveries along this walkway.  It's very busy with bikes, joggers, the occasional Parks Department truck, and some meandering pedestrians like me.

It's wise to try to stay in you own lane, and hope others do as well.

As I began my walk up from the River side, I thought this backward view was quite tranquil.

These old steps were graded gently to aid those going uphill.

This area far away from the River is actually called Riverside Park.  It has been around for much longer than the modern part just below the Trump buildings.

One more lingering view of the open sky.

I could not resist this reflection, left over from yesterday's rains.

I exited Riverside Park at 79th Street.  In the distance you can see the architectural contrasts of the neighborhood.

I passed by the Eleanor Roosevelt statue that was installed about ten or 15 years ago.  She seems to thinking important thoughts.

Back up on the hot pavements, I saw much more Police Department equipment, although I didn't see any police officers.  Perhaps they will be arriving later in the afternoon to begin the immense project of setting up all the security required for this evening's big show.

Here's an entrance road that allows passenger cars access to that Highway I walked under.

And having waited for the traffic light to change, I walked across 79th Street and took one more look at the westward view.

I hope that you all have enjoyed seeing a bit of another neighborhood park.  Today seemed an idea day to get outdoors early.  I may, but probably will not, return after sundown to see the fireworks.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  Best wishes for a glorious Fourth of July.