Categories
Living in New York City

Inspiration Point on the Hudson River Greenway

Inspiration Point on the Hudson River Greenway in Northwest Manhattan
Inspiration Point on the Hudson River Greenway in Northwest Manhattan

If you go up the Hudson River Greenway, between the 181st pedestrian footbridge and where the Greenway currently ends at the northern branch of Riverside Drive at the northern edge of Fort Tryon Park, you’ll find Inspiration Point.

There’s no way to access Inspiration Point except by using the trail. There are no parking spots and no way to pull over to the side of the road, though it looks like there might have been at one time. There is a raised section of concrete there that my wife stood on while she waited for me to finish taking pictures and looking around.

I suppose it’s a spot that not many people will visit. It’s isolated, and regardless of whether you enter the Greenway on the north end or at the pedestrian footbridge to the south, it’s a pretty long walk to get there. Maybe the fact that there are rarely people there is why the area is called Inspiration Point. You can be alone with your thoughts there, if you can ignore the highway traffic directly behind you anyway.

Inspiration Point

View of the Hudson River from Inspiration Point
View of the Hudson River from Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point

Regardless, the structure is really well made, and really interesting. It has a sort of ancient Rome feel to it, minus the red brick flooring anyway. What was this structure originally built for? I can’t imagine such an extravagant structure would be erected just for the occasional walker on the Greenway. Looking at Google Maps, I got the impression that the section of the Henry Hudson Parkway between where Riverside Drive stops at 181st Street and where it starts again north of Fort Tryon Park used to actually be Riverside Drive and was then converted into the northbound lane of the parkway.

A little further down from Inspiration Point are two pillars on the opposite side of the road that look like the entrance to an old driveway. It is currently overgrown. That, and what looked like an old parking area near Inspiration Point makes me think traffic on that road used to be a lot slower.

On a blog about infrastructure (infrastructureemily.com), I saw a picture of stairs leading down the side of the Inspiration Point structure to another lookout area. I didn’t even notice that. Now I definitely need to go back and take another look. The author of the other blog didn’t try to sneak down there and look around. I might!

Billings Terrace
Billings Terrace
Billings Terrace
Billings Terrace

Right next to that driveway I mentioned earlier is Billings Terrace. It’s very cool looking from down on the Greenway! I really want to go up there and take a look around. Billings Terrace is in Fort Tryon Park, where the Cloisters and most of the medieval art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is housed. There are also renaissance fairs there sometimes.

Categories
Day Trips in the City Living in Singapore

A View of Orchard Road From the Lucky Plaza Mall

Orchard Road is the main shopping strip in Singapore and is well maintained by the government to present the best image possible to foreigners who are in the country.  You can find everything from Louis Vuitton to McDonald’s there.

I read an article recently that was talking about counterfeiting in Singapore, and wrote a post about it because I saw it for myself, and it was saying that it is very prevalent, but they keep Orchard clear of it.  Well, as much as possible anyway.  Not that I can blame them for it.  Singapore wants to present the best image possible to tourists, and they want that image to be clean and law abiding.  I guess getting Singapore 100% free of bootleg items is impossible given the nature of the surrounding countries.

Regardless, Orchard Road is filled with malls that are very clean and posh looking, including the new Ion mall that was recently opened.  Lucky Plaza, however, is the ugly kid on the block.  Lucky Plaza is a sort of ‘bargain bin’ mall, with a lot of little shops that have, honestly, cheap looking products.  The whole interior of the mall has sort of a cheap feel to it actually.  It’s also acquired a reputation of being the Filipino mall in Singapore, since a majority of the shops there are run by Filipinos and there are mostly Filipino eateries on the top floor.  There are also quite a few money remitting establishments there.  Money remitters are where people go in Singapore to send money back to their home countries.  It goes without saying that most of the patrons in Lucky Plaza are Filipinos.

Those things together make Lucky Plaza a somewhat undesirable place to visit for most locals.  Adding to that negative reputation is the rumor that a portion of the Filipinas that hang around in the mall are prostitutes.  It could be true.  I don’t know.  That sort of behavior isn’t just limited to Lucky Plaza though.  There’s a rumor that if you go towards the end of Orchard Rd, where it meets Tanglin Rd, there are prostitutes there as well.  So, it looks like the hookers are slowly making their way out of Geylang!

Still, Lucky Plaza’s not that bad a place.  The Filipino food is cheap and good.  You can get products there that aren’t available in many other places in Singapore.  Also, there are imported products from the Philippines, which is probably what initially drew such a predominately Filipino crowd.

And, there’s a nice view from the balcony, as seen in the photos above!