June 7, 2012

From Washington Square Park to the Hudson River, A Walk to See the Stormy Sky

On Wednesday evening, as with recent days, an unstable air mass high above our skyscrapers brought scattered thunderstorms to New York City. As the storm clouds gathered and the skies turned dramatic, the Twitter feed of New York locals started to produce a wondrous array of pop-up camera pictures of the early evening sky. Big puffy clouds, dark clouds, luminous clouds - hundreds of New Yorkers pulled out their phones to take pictures of the clouds from their location and upload them for all to see. Impressed with the collective visualizations of the breaking weather conditions - and New Yorkers are getting good at this - I decided to head outdoors and westward to the Hudson River to see this impressive sky for myself.

3rd St and Thompson, South Village, looking west, more or less.


At 6th Avenue, before crossing over to the west side, looking southwest.

Walking from Washington Square Park, located in the central part of Greenwich Village, to the Hudson River involves understanding the off-grid geographical tempo of the West Village. The movement to the river requires the willingness to move in jazz-like syncopations westward through the Village streets - a general up and down and over. It helps that on beautiful stormy nights, walks in this part of Manhattan generally include strolls by many jazz clubs.

Varick Street and Clarkson, looking south.

Arriving at Pier 40, Hudson River Park, looking south.
Building on the far left is 8 Spruce Street (Frank Gehry), to the right - the Woolworth Building,
The tallest building is 1World Trade Center, under construction.

Last night I walked to the river via W. 3rd Street and down 6th Avenue to Carmine Street and then down Carmine to Clarkson Street to the river, but that's just one variation on the theme. Now that I've mapped out a few of the alternative routes (see accompanying map), I suppose that the most efficient way to walk from Washington Square Park to the Hudson River would be to take Washington Place to Barrow Street and then head on down and over to the river via Barrow. You can always come back a different way, but Washington Square Park usually provides a fine enough finale to an evening walk to the river, storm or no storm.

Walking back to the park on MacDougal Street

Washington Square Park and Arch, following the storm.
The Empire State Building can be seen in the distance through the arch.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from the evening of Wednesday, June 6, 2012. With an iPhone4.

 
View Washington Square to Hudson River Park in a larger map

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