Seagull sitting on a pylon at the West Harlem Piers

West Harlem Piers Last Tuesday

There’s a Fairways grocery right next to this pier, so when we go there to shop we like to walk out on the pier and look around for a while. The view is amazing! The Fairways there is pretty cool too, by the way. They have a huge room that is completely refrigerated. It’s odd because it’s like walking down a normal grocery store aisle, but there’s yogurt and butter sitting on the shelf.

Downtown-facing View from West Harlem Piers

Downtown-facing View from West Harlem Piers

Anyway, there’s a great view of the New Jersey side of the river from the pier. The view of downtown isn’t as good as what you see from Riverbank State Park on 138th – 137th Street, and it’s certainly not as good as the view from the middle of the George Washington Bridge, but it’s nice. The breeze is nice, especially on the pier over the water, and there are shaded benches to sit down on.

Chinese man flying a homemade kite.

Chinese man flying a homemade kite.

 

While we were there we saw two guys boxing. Some people were reading. Others were just passing through, like us. One really interesting old man was putting together a homemade kite using disposable wooden chopsticks (like from take-out) and a plastic take-out bag with the smiley face on it. It seemed to be working for him; he just couldn’t catch the breeze before we left to go to Fairways.

People sitting on the West Harlem Piers

People sitting on the West Harlem Piers

I love how the city is installing these small parks all along the waterfront. Last year this section was closed off. You see, it’s part of the Hudson River Greenway, a long running and biking track that will eventually encircle the entire island of Manhattan and link up with bridge paths leading to other cycling and running trails in other boroughs. I also thought the historical information presented on plaques mounted on the railing of the northern pier was a nice touch. It gives a brief history of the area and how it was used as a market. I didn’t really understand the short phrases on what looked like chopped up road signs in the greenery right across the street from Fairways though. There’s not enough context.

Seagull sitting on a pylon at the West Harlem Piers

Seagull sitting on a pylon at the West Harlem Piers

I’d really like to get bicycles for myself and my wife so we can spend an afternoon cycling around Manhattan, literally. Maybe next year. Summer is drawing to a close. We didn’t do as much as we wanted, but we did enough and we had fun, relaxed, and recharged.

Classes start again on Thursday. My first class of the semester is Friday, and then there’s a long weekend.

My “Terrorist in the Park” Look

My wife and I spent yesterday afternoon sitting in Fort Tryon Park enjoying the sunshine, the fresh air and the energy of the people all around us. It was refreshing. Very refreshing. I can’t remember the last time I just went to a park to sit down and relax. Granted, I did do reading for the class I’m taking, but it was still a better experience than sitting in a stuffy library or at my desk at home.

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Anyway, when I was looking at these photos later, I realized that I really need to trim my beard. I look like a stereotypical TV terrorist with those dark sunglasses. I even have the Captain America red-white-and-blue shirt to prove how American I am, and how I’m just an average American. Nothing to see here!

Walking Down the Hudson River

The city is so green and amazing now! I thought it was really interesting that there is a gardening club in Riverside Park. Lots of people were helping out. I wonder if something like that could ever take off in the Washington Heights section of the Hudson Greenway?

Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters

My wife and I have been taking some time to go out for long walks while I’m not so swamped with classwork. Central Park is nice, but we live a lot closer to Fort Tryon Park, which is also an awesome place to visit. We can walk there from where we live and the park itself has some great views of the Hudson River and The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that houses a large part of the museum’s medieval collection.

We walked around there on a Saturday afternoon. Since it was a Saturday afternoon, the park was full of Jewish people relaxing for Shabbat. We saw families sitting on benches, walking together, taking in the view, and kids playing. There were groups of people on picnic blankets and some playing games.

My wife and I would like to go back and have a picnic. Maybe we can pull that off this weekend.

A Dance Parade, Protesters, Painters & People Stealing Garbage

People protesting something going on in Turkey.

People protesting something going on in Turkey.

A crazy guy dancing with a toilet seat. He usually does this by the large black cube at Astor Place.

A crazy guy dancing with the molding from a van window, I think. He usually does this by the large black cube at Astor Place.

This guy was taking a break from dancing to the tune of a nearby Buddhist meditation group. Shortly after this, he took a bag of trash from the public bin and walked away with it.

This guy was taking a break from dancing to the tune of a nearby Buddhist meditation group. Shortly after this, he took a bag of trash from the public bin and walked away with it.

This is Francis Virella. He wants to make it big as an artist.

This is Francis Virella. He wants to make it big as an artist.

Today, there were all sorts of things going on in Union Square. We just happened to be walking through and saw a crazy guy dancing, another crazy guy stealing a bag of garbage from a public trash can, had a conversation with a guy that wants to make it big as an artist, and then wandered into a dance parade. It was a lot of fun, and the random, amazingly entertaining things that you can just stumble into is one of the reasons I love New York City.

You can see the rest of the parade photos, in a higher resolution in my Flickr gallery by clicking HERE.