Tag Archives: East River

Independence Day

By Vladimir Brezina

Impressions of this year’s fireworks over NYC’s East River—

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

Ice on the River

By Johna Till Johnson

Ice on the river

Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sun-set! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me!

Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

This is quite possibly my favorite poem ever. I once memorized part of it to recite for Vlad’s birthday. It always gives me shivers, in part because Whitman was, literally, talking directly to us, “men and women generations after me”.

But this past February, there weren’t many “crested and scallop-edg’d waves”—only acres of ice floes, bobbing sluggishly in the current. It’s hard to believe that lively, open water will return–but spring is less than a month away!

Ice floes have their own bleak beauty, though, especially during a snowstorm. I recently took a walk along the East River and up alongside the Harlem River. This is what I saw (click any photo to start slideshow):

Rear Window

By Vladimir Brezina

Like James Stewart in Rear Window, I’ve been trapped at home for some days by an inconvenient but (hopefully) temporary ailment. And there is the rear window, and I, too, have my camera! But whereas peering into two or three neighbors’ windows might have its fascination, it pales when the windows number in the thousands

But looking out at the river never pales.

Day 1, sunrise

Day 1, sunrise 1
Day 1, sunrise 2

Day 2, sunrise

Day 2, sunrise

Day 3, sunset

Day 3, sunset 1
Day 3, sunset 2
Day 3, sunset 3

Independence Day Spectacular

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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“A ticket to see fireworks? Don’t you just, uh, look up?” That was my friend Kathy’s comment when I mentioned Vlad had made the long, hot trip downtown in a thunderstorm to pick up our tickets for the fireworks.

Normally, she’d be right: For the past few Independence Days, we’d gone up on the roof, or just looked out from our window on the 17th floor. Even in New York, some things are free!

But these weren’t just any fireworks.  This was the first time ever they’d be in the lower East River—even be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge! And our friend John, who, like Vlad, is a photographer, would be in town expressly to take photos, and we needed to find an uncrowded location for them to set up their tripods.

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A Paddle to the Norwalk Islands

By Vladimir Brezina

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Last weekend was sunny and warm: It could already have been early summer. It turned out to be the perfect weekend for our long-planned paddle to the Norwalk Islands with our kayaking friends Alex and Jean, who are also fellow bloggers at 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots (check out their lovely blog!).

Johna and I left, early on Saturday morning, from Manhattan’s Pier 40 as usual.  We joined up with Alex and Jean at their base in Horseshoe Harbor in Larchmont, about half-way into the trip. We made it to the Norwalk Islands comfortably before sunset, and camped on Shea Island. On Sunday, we retraced, more or less, our route. Altogether, over the two days, we paddled about 84 nautical miles (97 land miles).

Here’s the story in photos.

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Travel Theme: Rivers

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Rivers.

Kayaking around Manhattan revolves (so to speak) around three rivers: the Hudson River, the East River, and the Harlem River. (Two and a half of them are not really rivers, but we won’t let that distract us here.)

And so, when we fly back to NYC, we always try to sit by the window. It’s such a pleasure to see these rivers spread out below, and to recognize all the bridges and piers, the islands and bays that we’ve come to know so intimately from kayak level.

From the air (click on any image to expand)…

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… and from kayak level

Typical summertime conditions ;-)

1. East River: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges

Downtown vista

2. East River: Moody Downtown vista

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

... as we launch down the Hudson

3. Hudson River: The new World Trade Center ahead

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

We pass Chelsea Piers

4. Hudson River: Chelsea Piers and the Empire State Building

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5. Hudson River: Summertime evening on the river

One of the classic views

6: East River: Midtown Manhattan vista

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

White mulberries!

7: Harlem River: White mulberries!

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8. Harlem River: Under the RFK Bridge in falling snow

Nocturne: the George Washington Bridge

9. Hudson River: George Washington Bridge nocturne

Easter Sunday Paddle

By Vladimir Brezina

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The weather is finally getting warmer, and the days longer. Time for one of our favorite paddles!

In yesterday’s variant of the trip, we paddled up the East River, through Hell Gate, and past Throgs Neck out into Long Island Sound, just in time for lunch at Sugar and Spice on City Island. Then back down the East River to Hell Gate, up the Harlem River, and finally down the Hudson River home.

Here are a few photos…

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