Category Archives: New York City

Frame

By Vladimir Brezina

Without the frame, there woudn’t be a Manhattanhenge.

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

Close

By Vladimir Brezina

When kayaking in New York Harbor, you can’t avoid getting close—

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

Citizen of New York

By Johna Till Johnson

This year I became, officially, a citizen of New York City.

How’s that, you ask, given that I’ve lived in New York City for over 20 years?

Well yes, but living somewhere doesn’t automatically mean you’re a citizen of the place. Citizenship connotes something larger: a mix of rights and responsibilities. You’re not just passing through, you’ve put down roots. You take personal responsibility for how things are run, and feel that you’ve earned the right to enjoy (or criticize) the results.

And as of last year, New York City actually has a formal rite of passage for becoming a city citizen (in a sense): getting your New York City ID card.

New York City ID

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Park Bench Sentiments

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Central Park benchesMany benches in NYC’s Central Park bear engraved metal plaques. For a donation, one can endow a bench as part of the Park’s “Adopt-a-Bench” program.

As you might imagine, the engravings are sometimes sentimental, and often heartbreaking. Too often, they memorialize a loved one who’s clearly still missed by grieving friends and relatives: “To my beloved…”, “In memory of my dear…”

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And then there’s this one:

"So far so good"

It made us laugh. And agree that it’s something to be grateful for!

New Jersey Weird and Wonderful

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

This trip dates from last fall, but took us this long to post in part because we wanted to include a lot of detail to guide paddlers who might want to go to these places, which are very accessible to NYC paddlers of all skill levels. 

So each photo is numbered, and the third image down is a map showing where each photo was taken, so you can associate the photo with the location. The  body of the post includes only a small selection of the photos; for the rest, see the slideshow at the bottom.

And don’t miss the special bonus: A link to a GoPro video from the trip, at the very end of the post!

New Jersey Weird and Wonderful 47

47. Beautiful day at the Sims Scrap Metal Yard

The currents weren’t really right for any of our usual trips, ebbing most of the day, and turning back to flood around 4:30 PM. So a long trip to points south would mean returning close to midnight, which neither of us wanted to do.

But it was an effervescent fall day, with a gusty breeze, blue skies, and sunlight sparkling over the waves. We wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary, for us, at least.

“Why not visit Port Liberté, and meander down the Jersey side of the harbor?” Vlad suggested.

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15. Port Liberté

What a splendid idea! Port Liberté is one of the many weird and wonderful things on the New Jersey side. Vlad calls it “the would-be Venice of New Jersey,” and it truly is: According to Wikipedia, it was designed in the 1980s as a waterfront community patterned after a similar one in Saint-Tropez, France, complete with canals lined with docks and waterfront walkways.

The idea is, to my mind at least, flawless: Imagine living right on the waterfront, with your own personal dock, just a few minutes by ferry or private boat from Manhattan! Unfortunately, though, the market crash of the late 80s ended the development plans, and what remains, though beautiful, is just a wistful indication of what might have been.

We’d last been to Port Liberté several years ago—maybe as far back as 2011. So it was time for another look. Then we’d continue down the Jersey side of the harbor, our moods and the currents permitting, until it was time to turn back. Come to think of it, despite our many years of paddling in the harbor, neither Vlad nor I had ever really properly explored all the ins and outs of the Jersey side.

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Landscape

By Vladimir Brezina

Landscape 1Just as wild as the natural landscape

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is the urban landscape in which we live

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

Come One, Come All… to the Ghostship Ball!

By Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

Vlad & Johna (photo by Larson Harley)We are getting our presentation ready!

It’s billed as “True Tales of Mystery, Majesty, and Mishap Mere Inches from the Water”. We think we can supply all of that…

Ghostship Ball

… and if the prospect of hearing us share our kayaking adventure stories isn’t enough, come for the live music, acrobats, and a growing roster of additional entertainment.

Hope to see you there!