Skip to main content

Hitting the Long Drive: Golf and Other Pursuits on Pier 25, Hudson River Park

When I was a little girl and invited to my first birthday party at a miniature golf course, I was only familiar with the kind of golf I watched on television. That was PGA golf as played by Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus on storied courses such as Pebble Beach, Augusta National, or Saint Andrews. So, as a little tot, setting up at the first hole for my first inaugural swing of a golf club at this mini-golf course in some hot part of north Texas, I just mimicked what I'd seen on TV. Therefore, assuming all first opening tee shots involved driving the ball as hard and as far as possible, I let go with a massive swing. It was fantastic. The ball soared through the air way over the entire course and eventually into the parking lot. The ball came close to hitting about three people on its way up. The adults supervising the party went into shock and quickly pulled the little me aside to explain the distinctions between big golf and this version before me.

Pier 25, Hudson River Park

Whenever I see a miniature golf course, I immediately have these fond flashbacks. So, when I first saw the mini-golf course on the Pier 25 in the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park - especially with that kitsch feature of a Bedrock cave - I wanted to line up at the first hole, take a big swing, and drive a ball as far as the eye could see, deep into the Hudson River. Too bad the big me showed some restraint. I didn't even play.


Pier 25, Hudson River Park

The rebuilt pier near the cross street at N. Moore features many other amusements, including a skate park, a fanciful playground, a great lawn for undetermined types of sports, beach volleyball, and a nearby basketball court. When I visited the day after Memorial Day, I opted for the genteel pursuit of strolling out to the end of the pier and watching the boats go by. The sun was relentless. Beyond the river, I could see the structures along the modern New Jersey shore, the skyline of which is becoming more familiar to me, although I know so little of that side (soon I'll go, I tell myself.) Toward the south, I saw the rising tower of One World Trade Center, changing the perspective on Lower Manhattan every day with the construction of each higher floor.

Pier 25, Hudson River Park

Mostly I thought about how the piers along the Hudson were once busy working piers, a time when workers unloaded dry goods and produce off the boats and sent them to the nearby markets in Tribeca. The decline of manufacturing and local markets left the piers abandoned, visited mostly by romantic urban explorers or those who liked a good walk and a place to see the sky.

Now, in contrast to the old city, one in which physical activity frequently came with the job, we're a city of symbolic analysts who sit at computer monitors much of the day, taking the occasional break to find lunch at a food truck or play mini-golf with the kids. Our recreational pursuits, as evidenced on this pier, are increasing more rationalized. The transformation of the city's waterfront from work to leisure is one of the most significant and profound characteristics of the new city.

Pier 25, Hudson River Park

Many urban critics, including the authors of Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space (Hill & Wang, 1992) expressed alarm that the city might turn into a theme park, with a decline in spaces for the general public. Here we have in New York, in fact, a rise of both. We see new public spaces with organized recreational spaces that, here and there, take on the appearance of an amusement park. In general, many large and complex cities like New York contend with power struggles between advocates of more public spaces and private companies that wish to carve out additional space for private means. If we think about it, a lot of the city is private, open only to members. We need more public space in the city like Pier 25, with or without miniature golf. (Design-wise, I think the golf course designers could have done away with the cave hazard and gone with something that evoked the surroundings, like a little Holland Tunnel, perhaps.)

Pier 25, Hudson River Park

Plans for Pier 26, by the way, under construction between N. Moore and Hubert Streets, include a boathouse, waterside café, and estuarium, with historic ships moored between the piers.

If you're on Pier 25, hit one out of the park for me.


View Pier 25, Hudson River Park in a larger map

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from May 31, 2011. For further information, see the website of the Hudson River Park Trust  and a good blog with updated news on the waterfront, NYC Transported: Exploring New York City and its Waterfront. More pictures in this set on Flickr WOTBA.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You didn't show the Lilac- the historic vessel that just got a permanent home on Pier 25!
Teri Tynes said…
Anonymous, I have added pictures of the boat to this set on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wotba/sets/72157626750595665/
Pascale said…
mm... been there just before dusk last month, (when the mini golf course wasn't even open...) loved the pier !

Popular posts from this blog

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings . Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours. UPDATED September 23, 2020 Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details. • The  Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  reopened to the public on  August 27 , with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  on Mondays for MoMA members on ly. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this  new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum . •  New-York Historical Society  reopened on  August 14  with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine

25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

(updated 2016) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 11 W. 53rd Street is near many other New York City attractions, so before or after a trip to the museum, a short walk in any direction could easily take in additional experiences. Drawing a square on a map with the museum at the center, a shape bounded by 58th Street to the north and 48th Street to the south, with 7th Avenue to the west and Park Avenue to the east, proves the point of the area's cultural richness. (A map follows the list below.) While well-known sightseeing stops fall with these boundaries, most notably Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the great swath of famous Fifth Avenue stores, cultural visitors may also want to check out places such as the Austrian Cultural Forum, the 57th Street galleries, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Municipal Art Society. The image above shows an intriguing glimpse of the tops of two Beaux-Arts buildings through an opening of the wall inside MoMA's scu

Taking a Constitutional Walk

A long time ago individuals going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters. As early as the mid-nineteenth century, many American commentators expressed concern that their countrymen were falling into lazy and unhealthy habits. Newspaper columnists and editorial writers urged their readers to take up the practice of the "constitutional" walk. One such essay, " Walking as an Exercise," originally printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and reprinted in New England Farmer , Volume 11, 1859, urges the people of farm areas to take up walking. City dwellers seemed to have the

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary. The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplift

25 Things to Do Near the American Museum of Natural History

After visiting the American Museum of Natural History, explore attractions on the Upper West Side or in Central Park. Visitors to New York often run around from one major tourist site to the next, sometimes from one side of the city to the other, and in the process, exhaust themselves thoroughly. Ambitious itineraries often include something like coffee in the Village in the morning, lunch near MoMA, a couple of hours in the museum, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon, cocktails at the midtown hotel, a quick dinner, and then a Broadway show. It's a wonder people don't pass out at the theater. While sitting on the steps of the American Museum of History, consider exploring the Upper West Side and nearby sites of interest in Central Park. There's a better way to plan a New York trip. Consider grouping attractions together geographically. Several posts on this site address this recommended approach. The Wild West of the Tecumseh Playground Groupin

A New York Spring Calendar: Blooming Times and Seasonal Events

See the UPDATED 2018 CALENDAR HERE . Updated for 2017 . At this time of year, thoughts turn to spring. Let's spring forward to blooming times, the best locations for witnessing spring's beginnings, and springtime events in the big city. While the occasional snow could blow through the city, we're just weeks now from callery pears in bloom and opening day at the ballpark. In The Ramble, Central Park. mid-April Blooming Times •  Central Park Conservancy's website  lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of Spring blooms. Central Park near E. 72nd St., saucer magnolia, typically end of March. •  Citywide Blooming Calendar from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation April is u

25 Radical Things to Do in Greenwich Village

A list of 25 things to Do in Greenwich Village with history of protest, old cafes, and signs of change. Hipstamatic iPhone images of contemporary Greenwich Village by Walking Off the Big Apple (Revised and updated.) Flipping through  Greenwich Village: A Photographic Guide by Edmund T. Delaney and Charles Lockwood with photographs by George Roos, a second, revised edition published in 1976, it’s easy to compare the black and white images with the look of today’s neighborhood and see how much the Village has changed. A long shot photograph of Washington Square taken up high from an apartment north of the park, and with the looming two towers of the World Trade Center off to the distant south in the background, reveals a different landscape than what we would encounter today.    On the north side of the park, an empty lot and two small buildings have since given way to NYU’s Kimmel Center and a new NYU Center for Academic and Spiritual Center Life. The Judson Memorial Church

At the New Moynihan Train Hall, and the Zen of Going Nowhere

After slowly wandering around the Moynihan Train Hall , opened earlier this year in the James A. Farley Post Office Building across from Penn Station, an Amtrak worker approached me and asked if he could help with directions. “No,” I replied, “I’m just here to look at the station.”  Moynihan Train Hall, between Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, 31st Street, and 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan I wasn’t taking a train anywhere, not an Amtrak train to Philadelphia or to Boston. I was here to look at this impressive, even enlightening building. The architectural design is somewhat restrained and serious. Bright signage at the Moynihan Train Hall At a time when the idea of actual travel is just picking up, for some New Yorkers like myself, just the novelty of seeing a new transportation project in the city seems to suffice. It’s like mental preparation for taking an actual trip.  Looking up I remember catching Amtrak trains at the old Penn Station, not the beautiful and monumental edifice that

A Walk in NoLita, Sometimes Speaking French

To get to the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the Bowery from where I live in the Village I walk through the precious neighborhood of NoLita. I say "precious," because this neighborhood No rth of L ittle Ita ly is home to many attractive small boutiques and stylish bistros, and it feels like it could be bottled and sold for a large price. In fact, that's happening. The prices for several new condos in the neighborhood's attractive renovated Victorian-era buildings start in the six- and seven-million dollar range. And the proximity of the New Museum solidifies NoLita's stature as a hot neighborhood, with galleries, shoe boutiques and other art-friendly places popping up here and there. Walking along Prince or Spring toward the museum, I have several old and new, ecclesiastical and secular, places to note along the way: Buildings: The St. Patrick's Old Cathedral at Mott and Prince, served as the Roman Catholic Cathedral until the big St. Patrick's was

Traversing Manhattan: An Afternoon Trip to the Battery and Back Again

  Wherein the vaccinated sightseer from Northern Manhattan travels to the southern end of the island by means of the express bus, the MTA subway, and the NYC ferry, with a little sauntering on foot In Battery Park, during the first blushes of spring in New York. View of One World Trade Center Residents of the far north and far south of Manhattan are the ones most keenly aware that they live on an island. The north end of the borough tapers to a relatively small area of land, bounded by the confluence of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers and the waters of Spuyten Duyvil. The land is hilly and green, with an old growth forest. The Battery sits on the southern end, a land where the geography is defined by the meeting of the East River, the Hudson River, and the vast New York Harbor. Manhattan stretches a little over 13 miles on the long side and just 2.3, more or less, at its width. On 42nd Street, approaching Grand Central Terminal. A resident of the hilly northern terrain may sometimes long