Sitting right at the end of East 116th and 117th streets in Manhattan, flush against East River Drive, is East River Plaza. It’s a recently built, multi-level shopping complex with stores like, among others, a Target, Best Buy and Petsmart. The Target up there usually puts cat litter and cat food on sale. After you consider how much you spend on the fare to get there and back, and the amount of time it takes to travel, you probably aren’t saving anything at all when you’re going there from 14th Street on public transit, but it is nice to get out of the neighborhood sometimes, if for no other reason than a change of pace and a change of scenery.
Scenery is something this place does well too, though unintentionally. It’s not enclosed, like a mall. To get between stores you have to go to outdoor platforms and use outdoor escalators. The very ends of these platforms overlook the East River and if you lean out a bit you can get a good downtown facing view of Manhattan and even a bit of Queens.
Here are some of the better photos I took:
I imagine this is an old pier that is no longer used due to the construction of the East River Drive.
That’s Icahn Stadium. When I first glanced across and was trying to make out the name, I thought it said ‘I Can Haz Stadium’. I think I’ve been looking at too many lolcats.
In the foreground, the lower bridge you can see traffic on is the Triborough Bridge, also known as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The larger looking, raised bridge in the back is the Hell Gate Bridge, named after the stretch of water it covers, and is used for trains. When it was opened in 1919, it was originally painted a reddish color, with seems more fitting, given the name. It was also the longest steel arch bridge in the world at the time. You can read more about it by clicking here.
That’s a long shot of the East River, facing downtown. On the right is Manhattan and that’s Astoria in Queens on the left. The bridge in the middle is the Ward’s Island Bridge. The previous two photos are shots of stuff on Ward’s Island.
And that’s about it, for things to see from that vantage point. There’s always something interesting to see, everywhere you go in New York City.