Two-Hundred Sixty-Five.

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Sunrise.

In case any of you might not be aware of my apparent ‘fandom’ of all most things Manhattan, I’ll have to just go ahead and mention again that New York City has been creating the United States’ best parks for a couple hundred years now.  The Hudson River Park, which runs continuously from the southern point at Battery Park to the northern point at Inwood Hill Park, is no exception to this long-standing tradition!  (Over 10 miles!)

Sure… a couple hundred years is nothing in the grand scale of modern civilizations, but we must remember that this timeline exceeds most physical parts of our very young nation.

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Today I am just going to take a look at the section that runs from somewhere around 54th Street up to around 65th Street.  This is all along manhattan’s West side and its borders are the Hudson River and West End Avenue, generally.  In these two pictures above, I’m standing on a pier that is built deep into the Hudson River.  It is wide, solid, full of benches and most importantly: space.  It allows us to have a panoramic view of the city so nice, they, in fact, named it twice.  : )

 

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Just to make a brief mention here…  all these skyscrapers that you see built along West End Avenue in the photo above…  they all share something in common:  They are all Donald Trump properties.  Now..  if you can imaging that the studio apartments (450 sq. ft. minimum) are in the area of $2,500/month and up…  and most of the apartments here are at least $6,000/month for a two bedroom…  and there are hundreds per building… and several buildings….  well, I am just saying that when rent comes due on the first of the month, it must be one happy day for Mr. Trump.  And this isn’t even the half of the real estate he owns in New York City!  It might be less than ten percent, even!  And this is not the only city he owns real estate in!  He owns real estate in every major city!

So to all the people that love to point out the couple times he declared bankruptcy (related to a couple business ventures, not his entire estate or even a personal bankruptcy), all I have to say is..  take it easy.  The guy knows a thing or two about making a dollar or two.  But anyway, he is not the real purpose of the article.  Just an observation I made.

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There are several north-south paths in this park.  Closest to the River is a walking/jogging path and then slightly more inland is a continuous cycling path.  They have several minor paths that connect many of the features of the park and bring you closer to the art.

For example…

Click for enlargements/slideshow.

‘Bridge’, by James Mikhel Emerson, was installed in June and will remain here until at least May, 2017.  The NYC Parks Department grants access to its parks to New York artists as one gigantic gallery, as they have been doing since 1967.  This grand idea is what makes jogging the length of Manhattan so easy and interesting- there is so much to occupy your mind that the miles simply peel away!

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Avis Gloriae et Laudis MMXVI

This stainless steel bird was created and installed by Shelia Berger and looks towards Manhattan with New Jersey in the background.

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Some art is installed by the New York City Parks Department itself, as a method of combining park amenity construction and history.  As it turns out, this entire area use to be a giant rail yard- the only freight rail yard in Manhattan, as it turns out.  In this picture you can see the concrete blocks in the foreground with Reading RR, Erie RR, and B&O RR logos depicted.  I’ll have to get a better shot of this pavilion, I didn’t know the history here until a friend made mention later on.

In the mean time, some history can be read here and here.

Anyway, the short story is they closed the rail yard.  They turned it into a beautiful park, and now seventy percent of freight comes into Manhattan by truck.  So… you know… when you are sitting in 45 minute traffic at the crossings, you can thank Big Oil and Tire lobbyists from decades past for that nonsense.

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But I digress…

They included a section of supremely well-constructed boardwalk in this section of the park, as well.  That’s Teak, Dad!

I didn’t know about the beauty contained within this park until I started running the length of the island this year.  When I cycle, I ride on the cycle path that is located underneath the raised highway that you see in a couple of the photos above.  I could see that there was something over here, but I never stopped to take a look because both the first and second commandments of Mark’s Code of the Pedal are:

  1. Thou shall not stop pedaling.
  2. Thou shall not stop pedaling.

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So you can imagine my surprise when I first came upon all of this on the first long run!  Again, these photos are a tiny sampling of about a ten block long section of the park…  and if at all possible, I highly recommend exploring it yourself.  Autumn is coming…  the best time of the year for New York City!

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Cheers!

 


About these photos:

I went for a morning walk since it was correctly forecasted as a crisp, clear September Day and throughly enjoyed spending the time with Matil.  But, the one caveat is that this park is on Manhattan’s West Side, so while the morning skies look beautiful- the gorgeous color would not appear until much later in the afternoon.  Something I hope to share with you tomorrow.  So check back here!

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