Category Archives: New York City

Manhattan Ahead as Night Falls

By Vladimir Brezina

As we returned from our paddle on Sunday night, the Manhattan skyline glowed in the last rays of the sunset, then grew cool with a myriad twinkling lights—

(click on any photo to enlarge it)

Manhattan ahead 1 Manhattan ahead 2 Manhattan ahead 3 Manhattan ahead 4 Manhattan ahead 5

And here are some GoPro clips of that part of our trip (the water drops on the lens are a distinct nuisance!):

The story and photos of the rest of the trip are coming soon!

Paint, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

As we paddle through the backwaters of NYC’s industrial waterways, we come to close quarters with hundreds of barges and scows, many of which seem to have seen some service.

Colorful barges 1

As we brush past their battered sides, we admire their colorful peeling paint—

Colorful barges 2Colorful barges 3Colorful barges 4Colorful barges 5Colorful barges 6Colorful barges 7

A second contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Paint. The first contribution was here.


By Vladimir Brezina

Not so yellow submarine...This is how we’ve always before seen the Yellow Submarine of Brooklyn

—but what a difference a fresh coat of paint makes!

A fresh coat of paint(story and more photos here)

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Paint. A second contribution is here.

We All Love the Yellow Submarine!

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

Yellow Submarine Paddle 22

In the town where I was born,
Lived a man who sailed to sea,
And he told us of his life,
In the land of submarines.

So we sailed on to the sun,
Till we found a sea of green,
And we lived beneath the waves,
In our yellow submarine…

The yellow submarine isn’t just an invention of the Beatles—it exists for real. And it had gotten a paint job, courtesy of our friend Erik Baard and his HarborLab crew. So we decided it was high time to paddle out and see the results.

Let me back up… in the waters of Coney Island Creek, just off Gravesend Bay, there rests—amazingly, improbably!—a yellow submarine. We’ve told a fuller story here, but suffice it to say that the story of its existence just underscores the crazy sense of possibility that permeated the 1960s.

But it’s closing in on 50 years since the yellow submarine was launched, and it had become somewhat the worse for wear. So when we heard it had recovered its original cheerful coloring, we had to go see.

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Tugboat Race 2015

By Vladimir Brezina

Tugboat Race 64

Ah, the familiar first signs of Fall: the first crisp days and chilly nights, trees beginning to turn color here and there, migrating geese honking overhead…

And, of course, the Tugboat Race.

Tugboat Race 49Every year on Labor Day Sunday, the Working Harbor Committee brings together, in the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan, a collection of New York Harbor tugs—those that can spare a rare half-day off work—to engage in

Tugboat Race 73various feats of tugboat strength: a race, nose-to-nose pushing contests, a line-throwing competition, and, for the kids as well as hyper-competitive tugboat captains, a spinach-eating contest.

We’ve attended the last three years, and written quite a bit about the occasion (in 2012, 2013, and 2014). So let’s go straight to the photos of this year’s event, the 23rd Annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition!

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By Vladimir Brezina


Move 1

No, you move!

Move 2

In NYC, gridlock doesn’t just happen on land…

Move 3

Scenes from this year’s Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition. Many more photos to come!

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Move.


By Vladimir Brezina

New York City architecture is ruled by rigid grids. But often the result is surprisingly fluid…

Grid 1Grid 2Grid 3Grid 4

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, Grid.