Daily Archives: July 5, 2013

Travel Theme: Motion

By Vladimir Brezina

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

In expectation of what will likely be a hot summer here in NYC, here’s some cool, refreshing beach motion from last year—

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On the Jersey Shore, August 2012.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Nostalgic.

LUSITANIA-Harbor-New-YorkKayaking through New York City’s waterways and becoming aware of the maritime traditions of the harbor, it’s hard not to become nostalgic about its bygone days, reflected in the numerous wrecks of ships, some of them over a hundred years old, that lie here and there in the harbor.

A case in point is the Binghamton, a 1905 steam ferryboat—the last of many—that has reached her last resting place, as it now clearly is, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson at Edgewater.

BINGHAMTON_ NNS_Hull_49_Page_03_Image_0001The Binghamton operated as a cross-Hudson ferry, making a mile-long trip back and forth between Hoboken and Manhattan, continuously from 1905 to 1967, when the last ferries were forced out of business (until their recent renaissance) by competition from the Hudson tunnels and the George Washington Bridge.

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BINGHAMTON_ NNS_Hull_49_Page_09_Image_0003Binghamton was then converted into a floating restaurant. The restaurant closed in 2007, and since then Binghamton has awaited a new use.

From Wikipedia:

The Binghamton is significant as possibly the last surviving steam ferry still afloat built to serve New York Harbor, the birthplace of commercial steam navigation, the birthplace of the double-ended steam ferry, and an area whose development was profoundly shaped by the introduction of vessels of this kind.

Indeed, The US Department of the Interior added Binghamton to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Bill Lee has written a loving, detailed essay on her history, and Tugster has posted a series of photos (here, here, and here) that give a good idea of her interior as it was until quite recently.

Bill Lee’s essay ends when Binghamton‘s future still looked promising. Unfortunately, in 2011 Hurricane Irene greatly accelerated her progressive deterioration, and last year Hurricane Sandy finished the job. Binghamton no longer floats, but is resting on the bottom.

May 2013

Every time we paddle past, we see greater decay. Now an entire side of the boat is down, giving us dramatic views into the inlaid wood and stained glass of the interior—all ruined now. Water sloshes back and forth through the interior spaces with each passing wave.

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A reminder of the transience of beauty…

Celebrating the Fourth

By Vladimir Brezina

Last night, with martinis in hand, we went up on the roof of our building to watch NYC’s Independence Day fireworks.

Conditions were not ideal for photography. From our building on the Upper East Side, it is several miles to where the fireworks were fired off in the Hudson River. At the last minute, we were chased away by the building staff from the part of the roof that offered the best view. Where we ended up, among a crowd of our neighbors, the tripod had to be so precariously balanced on a narrow ledge that it became a bipod. Directly in front was a pipe obstructing the view. The remote control failed to work…


(click on any photo to start slideshow)