Archive for September, 2013

the upper, upper west

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

so this summer has been a real crapper for me. luckily this lovely lady has done everything in her power to keep me sane. in the beginning of june i did something pretty shitty to my lower back which basically kept me from being active in every way for almost all of the summer. we had plans to travel out west this summer but the idea of being stuck in one position for a few hours on a plane is so painful in itself. most of the summer was spent indoors for me – either slowly attempting to learn spanish, reading trade paperbacks, or playing the amazing spider-man video game. so the few getaways we could do this summer were within our own city. this particular day we went to the upper, upper west side of manhattan to hang out in some parks we don’t usually visit.

one of the nice things about astoria is that it’s got the m60 bus which goes right over to harlem. take it all the way west and you’re right in that crazy ass DC lookin part of manhattan occupied by columbia u. the architecture out there is beautiful and old and a lot of new yorkers don’t even know about it because we so often keep to our own neighborhoods. i have literally tricked people into thinking the pictures i had of grant memorial were in washington. anyway our goal was to explore all the uptown west side parks. i read somewhere that there is a little protected bird nesting area somewhere up there. the photo we tried to get of a little guy darting around in there came out blurry but it turned out that she was a black and white warbler

all this stuff happened in ’85 by the way. here are some flowers i was observing bumble bees pollenate. it’s good to see them out there after reading and watching a lot about their struggles.

there’s a huge gap in my photos because i think we were more distracted by the walk (and trying to find a gerd damn open bathroom) but here is one of the redone parks on the west side. lots of fancy boardwalks criss-crossing and little benched and piers. cool shit. first views of the george washington bridge as well

walking down and around (because a path was blocked off) we ended up under the henry hudson parkway. i haven’t see anything like this in nyc in forever. also i was so stunned because it was like i was walking into a dream. i feel like my parents tried to avoid traffic once coming over the gw bridge and got off early and we ended up under here. to some people this marvel of road building magic is just their every day walk to the grocer’s but this shit was cool to me and charlotte.

we kept walking higher and higher and the bridge got closer in sight. this section is called riverbank state park. it straight up looks like you’re at ¬†some kind of weird shopping center in the suburbs that happens to have a public gym next to it. there are pools, tracks, basketball courts, and all sort of shit. not to mention skate/rideable banks to all my brothers and sisters who may be into that sort of thing. a few glorious rails too. it’s a shame my back is too messed up to head back…

we attempted a couple of self portraits with the bridge in the back but it was quite difficult without any ledge to drop the camera on. arms length just complicated things. we look pretty ok. the other one we look less pissed but the contrast is less punchy.. i don’t know my favorite

anyway we continued our walk up and as we gazed over the side noticed that this may be the only place that we could think of in nyc where there is just concrete wall meeting the river… i’m sure there are plenty of other places. but like a 2 or 3 story wall of concrete next to the river doesn’t seem to happen often.

we stopped off to refill our water bottles with some of the most delicious tap water in the world. nyc has you all beat. lets just keep the fracking shit out of here. anyway.

more weird shit. this literally felt like the descent down to the park from last summer i visited in bellingham or something. sometimes you just say to yourself “man, i don’t know shit about the city i live in” when you see things like this

here is one of the cooler spots traveling further up. a little overlook onto the hudson and the park i was just speaking of is that protruding mass of arches.

as we made our way up the highway’s side we tried to find access to the part of the park located under the george washington. most of nyc’s bridges have pretty cool underbellies but i hadn’t yet seen the bottom of the gw. on the way we made a quick correction on some graffiti that had been spelled wrong.

one of the weird things about this walk is after a certain point there are no turn offs for about a mile. there are these wild walls that look like they came straight outta some holy grail shit. the especially weird thing is the little dungeon doors that pop up. there are little pathways that are walkable, but by who is what i wonder.

after a long, seemingly endless walk we finally get the part of the park where the underbelly lives. we’re like biblo in stabbing position. the park is really amazing, but a bit overgrown. again, it doesn’t feel like new york city at all. there’s a cool running/bike path, and some tennis courts directly underneath but one of the coolest parts is the little peninsula from which to picnic.

from atop one of the picnic benches i positions my camera for this shot. lots of cool hanging branches of low branched trees. the bridge hanging about and a few giant boulders. this one i look like i have no legs, but that’s just the illusion from the positioning of the rocks.

don’t ask me what the weird burn mark is on charlotte’s bangs is there – the light is super cool that’s all i know.

she got one of me in which i look like a 13 year old with facial hair.

behind us there was this weird, red lighthouse. the peninsula must stick out a bit too far for comfort, plus the base of the bridge is so close. the security was also pretty high there.

the amazing thing is the view from these slimy rocks. it was a little sketchy so i wouldn’t recommend going down and getting too close to the water. you could probably easily slip in. but ¬†again the view was incredible. if this camera was better i wouldn’t stood further back and got a tighter zoom on charlotte to show you more of downtown, over a hundred eighty blocks away.

the light was incredible at this time of day you can see the streaks of shadow passing down from the bridge. the structure of this bridge is incredible too.

we made our way to the top of tryon park to call it a day but on the way passed what looks like a roman aqueduct covered in olde tymey vines. i mean, again this shit is normal to those from the hood, but to us it was like “nah, this ain’t still new york.”

one of the last bits we happened upon was located near the ladies room at the bottom of the park near the dyckman st. stop. there were just some rusted old steel bench parts sitting there. labeled as kenneth lynch and sons. when i looked them up it seemed they have been in the business of making steel for over 300 years. kinda got that from looking at them. cool shit. maybe those pieces of old metal that are so callously laying about are older than my grandmother? who knows. anyway that’s the end of the day. we headed home and slept well that night.

the very last bit