Category Archives: adventure

My Summer Absence

Replica of the Winnie Mae in the Oklahoma History Center

I wanted to make a quick post to let you know I’ve been on a bit of a long vacation in the Midwest, starting in Kansas City and now here in Oklahoma City. The sweltering heat has followed me all the way, although I think today it may actually be below 100 degrees. I’ll be flying back to New York Wednesday evening. Look for adventure recaps soon after!

Riding the East River Ferry

Brave boaters in the East River off of Long Island City.

A wonderful new thing called the East River Ferry just started, offering public transportation via boat from Manhattan to Queens to Brooklyn to Governors Island. I caught it the second weekend it opened and was having temporarily free service (and free iced coffee!). Below are some of the sites from the surprisingly quick moving ferry, which I got on and off at Long Island City, Williamsburg, and DUMBO. I’m not sure how popular it will be with commuters (it’s rather impossible for me, could there be a stop in Gowanus?), but it was fun to ride.

Speeding down the East River.

 

Here is a power plant in Manhattan viewed from the ferry, with a line of boats riding by.

Docking in Williamsburg.

Approaching the Williamsburg Bridge

 

Helicopter hovering by the Manhattan Bridge.

 

I took a break in Brooklyn Bridge Park for an almond croissant.

 

And I found that the Play for Hope pianos were back! Too bad I'm not much of a piano player.

 

I ended the morning adventure with some reading and people watching in front of the Brooklyn Bridge.

To the Little Red Lighthouse

Park ranger on top of the Little Red Lighthouse

Way up on the western side of Manhattan, there is a petite lighthouse under a huge grey bridge. This charming pairing was captured in a children’s book called The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge illustrated by Lynd Ward, and recently I had a chance to go inside the rarely open tiny beacon.

Porthole on the lighthouse looking to the Washington Bridge.

You may remember I visited the Little Red Lighthouse on my New York one-year anniversary last year. The 40-foot-tall red lighthouse is on the shore of the Hudson River under the 604-foot-tall Washington Bridge, and was built in 1889, but moved to its current location in 1921 to aid in river navigation. The Washington Bridge was completed over it in 1931. The dwarfed lighthouse was almost dismantled in 1951, but was saved from demolition by fans of the children’s book it inspired.

Inside the lighthouse.

From the top of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse is now managed by the parks department, and periodically it is open to visitors. We arrived just before closing to climb up its winding staircase to the top. The Washington Bridge seemed even more overwhelming in size from the top of the lighthouse. There was a cool breeze off the river and a hazy view to the skyscrapers in lower Manhattan.

Little Red Lighthouse. Surely one of the most charming places in NYC.

There is still a working light on top, so that the Little Red Lighthouse can proudly blink to passing boats. Even if it was a short climb on the spiral staircase, it was worth it to go up to Washington Heights to finally see the inside of my favorite NYC lighthouse. (Actually, it may have competition with the one on Roosevelt Island built by an asylum patient…)