Friday, July 02, 2010
Spuyten Duyvil (remember, New York was settled by the Dutch) refers to the area at the west end of the Harlem River, where it converges with (or diverges from) the Hudson. The original channel looped around, but was later straightened with dynamite, shifting neighborhoods back and forth between Manhattan and the Bronx, sort of the way the meandering early Mississippi brokered land swaps between Mississippi and Arkansas.
The beach with the forest rising behind it is pretty remarkable. It is in Manhattan, albeit a remote corner of Manhattan, tucked in behind the railroad bridge at the north end of Inwood Hill Park. I suppose technically it isn't really a beach as much as it is a sand bar, since there can't be all that much wave action within the river here. If there had been some sort of spit at the mouth of Spuyten Duyvil before the railroad was built, this could be the remnant of something long lost beneath the tracks, but that's pure speculation. Whatever the case, I thought the idea of an isolated beach in the forests of Manhattan was neat.