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Showing posts from May, 2014

Circumnavigating the "Sixth Borough": Views of the New York City Waterfront

If you've been working too hard and feel a need to reconnect with the city, I recommend sailing around it.


For those interested in a little depth along with their getaway, I highly recommend Classic Harbor Line's AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour.  Shipping out of Chelsea Piers, the architect-led voyage surveys the changing New York waterfront, aka the "sixth borough."



This past Saturday, on a picture-postcard afternoon, I boarded the line's yacht, the Kingston, in the company of a few dozen visitors and natives. Some were architects; others were architecture enthusiasts. The trip begins at Chelsea Pier 62, sails south to New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Governors Island; then up the East River to Roosevelt Island; up the Harlem River, the Harlem River Ship Channel to the Spuyten Duyvil Swing Bridge; and then south along the Hudson River again to Pier 62. Lasting a little over 3 hours, the tour feels like a crash course in New Y…

That's a Warbler, Maybe: Amateur Spring Birding in Inwood Hill Park

Note: This post from 2014 should get you in the mood for bird watching.

In the thick green forests of Inwood Hill Park on Sunday, a splendid New York spring day suitable for most anything, I tried my best to find and take pictures of uncommon birds. This week in May is best for spring birding, migratory and otherwise.



In the morning and afternoon I hiked the high thickets and valleys of the park. Along the southern rim, the section of high woods just north of Dyckman Street, amazing little birds appeared in abundance. I snapped pictures of Black and White Warblers, an American Redstart, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a couple of Baltimore Orioles, an Orchard Oriole, a Swainson's Thrush, a few Northern Cardinals, several loud Blue Jays, and a ton of Chipping Sparrows. Later, below at the water's edge, I saw many shorebirds. At a local school near the entrance of the park, a Red-tailed Hawk perched on its favorite rooftop satellite dish (note 2018: The dish has been trashed, but the h…

Scaling the Heights: A Walk from the Base of Fort Tryon Park to W. 187th Street

A walk along the high grounds of Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters south to Washington Heights equals any stroll in more publicized parts of New York City.  


Not that this area remains much of a secret these days. The motivation for my most recent stroll was prompted by a story published in The New York Times on March 28, 2014 titled "Downtown Food Goes North." The story suggests that Upper Manhattan, until recently, was a culinary wasteland, with nothing contemporary (i.e. local, artisan, farm-to-market) to eat. 




According to the Times, the Upper Manhattan food scene is changing, sporting "the unmistakable signs of menu relevance."

(Editorial aside: Of course, in a city that loses much of its older culture every day, I worry about so-called relevancy replacing traditional mainstays of the city, culinary or otherwise. But as long as the new doesn't crowd out Upper Manhattan's luncheonette counters, diners, and neighborhood bakeries, the way it has in most …