Say Hello to New Jersey

Today I did something unusual. I went for a walk without following a guidebook and without the intension of checking out something I had heard or read of. A friend of mine just had told me that she is really longing to see the sea. That inspired me to see some water at least. My closest water right now is the Hudson River, just two blocks away. So I braved the cold and got outside to say hello to New Jersey. (It’s from You’ve got Mail).

It is not the most scenic waterfront in New York City. Between Riverside Drive and the river there is Riverside Park – bare and grey now between fall and winter when the leaves have fallen – and the westside highway. From above, standing on Riverside Drive it doesn’t look appealing at all. Nevertheless I walked down into the park and reached the walkway along the waterfront through the tunnel underneath the highway. The riverside looked much more attractive than from above.
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On the hill it didn’t feel that cold today but close to the water there was this icy even if not strong breeze. Not many people were around. Some walked their or other people’s dogs, others were jogging.
The 79th Street boat basin was deserted. The boats are sleeping through the winter.
At the south end of Riverside Park there is an old gantry and a peer used for kayaking in summer.
The structure of the buildings on Riverside Drive changed. The time honored prewar apartment towers gave way to more modern and higher glass towers. The highway track is higher and the waterfront is lined by sculptures. A new project by an arts college. It’s well done, the sculptures give the waterfront some life.
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I remembered my plan to circumnavigate Manhattan. That would have taken me along there. I forgot to do that. Now it is too late and too cold. Every photo was a pain because I had to remove my gloves to use the camera.
I walked until the Sanitation Department at 59th Street and then turned east towards Columbus Circle to catch the subway there. I was hungry and felt like hot chocolate.
At Verdi Square I got off, had a frank with relish at Grey’s Papaya and walked into Amsterdam Avenue to find Jacques Torres for a chocolate. I chose a Wicked, spiced with a hint of chili and pepper. Nicely warming.
At Westside Market I bought a piece of Moussaka for dinner and walked home.

What I learned today:
It is possible to walk without a plan and can even provide unknown sights. Surprising!

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