Another spot I enjoy walking to and in is Riverbank State Park. The park is an elevated, artificial park that is built onto the side of Manhattan island. To get to it, you have to walk over one of two bridges, or by walking up a few flights of stairs from the Hudson River Greenway below.
Riverbank Park has a pool, a track, tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, a roller skating rink, a restaurant and I think a cultural center. Kind of hard to believe it’s all built on an artificial, elevated platform.
Walking down there is about 2.25 miles. It’s a great place to stop, use the bathroom, and take in the sights before turning around and heading back home. I don’t know that I’d want to have a picnic there, though there are certainly facilities for it. I think Fort Tryon Park is a much nicer place to go for that. But, it would be a great place to sit down and read a book for a while. The breeze there is nice, since it’s over the water.
Over the weekend my wife and I finally went down to Clarke Quay (pronounced “key”). Neither my wife or I are very big drinkers and we’re not into the whole club scene, so we’d never had any desire to check out Clarke Quay, which is Singapore’s unofficial (or maybe official) party locale. Since I’m heading off soon, we decided to scope the area out just to say we’d been there together at least once.
Coming out of the MRT station, you wind up across the Singapore River from where the clubs, bars, and “hip” restaurants are. It’s actually very nice, walking along the river there. The breeze was cool and there were a lot of people sitting along the edge chatting or eating ice cream. The water itself was very brown, muddy and full of natural debris (leaves, as opposed to garbage), so it wasn’t much to look at, but it was still a very relaxing atmosphere.
When we crossed the bridge there was more of a buzz in the air. It was definitely a party area. The club areas I’m used to in the US are usually dingy, dark, smelly looking places so I was a bit unprepared for the classy feel that Clarke Quay manages to convey. There’s lots of glass, fancy restaurant facades, and good music playing. The place also wasn’t packed with drunken idiots, at least when we went. There were plenty of tourists walking around with cameras and even some families with kids in tow.
One thing that impressed me about the place was the variety. Clarke Quay isn’t all just about clubbing and getting wasted. The area is packed with restaurants, from Hooters to Forbidden City (a cool looking Chinese food place) to a Mexican food place. There are also areas that look like they’re set up for casual drinking, with comfortable lounge areas. There was even a Coffee Connoisseur for people that want to get out at night but don’t necessarily want to drink.
Clarke Quay is the very essence of hip and trendy night life and as we headed home at around 10 PM we saw the crowds of fashionably dressed people showing up to show off. We’re definitely going to have to head back out there to experience the evening and have some good drinks and good food. Next time I’ll bring my camera too. The pictures in this post are just from my phone.