Tag Archives: Kayaking

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.

Happy Place

By Vladimir Brezina

No words are needed…

Happy Place

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, Happy Place.

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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Manhattan Circumnavigation at the Edge of Fall

 By Vladimir Brezina

Midtown Manhattan

Under the Brooklyn BridgeOn Sunday, the weather broke. After weeks of hot humid weather, there was suddenly a chill in the air. Morning mist shrouded the higher towers of Manhattan, and later when the sun broke through, the air remained crisp and cool. Here and there, leaves were already turning. Fall had unmistakably arrived.

Perfect weather for a Manhattan circumnavigation!

A look back at downtown Manhattan

Here are some photos:

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Gentrifying Gowanus?

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Gowanus Canal colors

The lively school of fish flashing by probably should have been a clue.

On our kayak trip several weeks ago, we decided to pay a visit to the Gowanus Canal. I know it seems crazy to paddle on a heavily-polluted Superfund site, but we both have a secret fondness for blasted industrial landscapes. And the canal also features charming, idiosyncratic quirks: festive murals, and a houseboat or two.

Or at least it did, upon our last visit. We hadn’t seen it since just before Superstorm Sandy. Then, the mood had been somber, filled with foreboding and a sense of upcoming loss. We feared what the storm would do to the places we’d come to love, Gowanus among them.

True to our fears, Sandy kept us off the water for months, and in the nearly three years since then, we didn’t make it back to Gowanus to see how it survived. So this trip was very much an exploration: How much had Sandy destroyed? And what was left?

Things had definitely changed, as it turned out—but not exactly in the way we expected.

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