Thursday, July 01, 2010


Before the trip, I had been reading Phillip Lopate's Waterfront: A Walk around Manhattan, a wonderful essay on history, urban planning, environment, and New York City, and a great introduction to the waterfront of Manhattan. Unfortunately, three days with a family in toe and a poor practical knowledge of the city's geography meant that my shoreline exploration was largely limited to what you could see from a Circle Line Tour around Manhattan.

But even that was fascinating. I could picture the Hudson River side, having grown up with pictures of Cunard liners on the walls at home, but I had no idea what to expect of the Harlem River or even the East River bridges. More of my personal observations can be found across the way at hshipman, but I will include here a few shorelines, less for their geologic insight and more as an introduction to New York City and an exciting urban waterfront.

Brooklyn, for the geographically naive, is on Long Island, and is separated from Manhattan by the East River, a tidal strait connecting New York Harbor with Long Island Sound. Its industrial shoreline is gradually giving way to high end residential development and a restored waterfront - the wharves turning into parks and promenades and even a pocket beach (created or an accident?) under the Manhattan Bridge.

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