Some movies you can watch over and over again, and never get tired of them. For other movies, once is too much. "Keeping The Faith" falls into the first category for my wife and me. The movie did OK at the box office; it wasn't a major blockbuster. Besides the warmth and respect among its characters, which is nice in and of itself, it presents New York (filmed in 1999, released in 2000) in a very warm light. One of our favorite lines occurs when the bartender says to Ed Norton "But New York is an island."
This brings us to an often-overlooked part of New York City - its surrounding waterways, and how they are coming back to life. Areas that were once rundown are now thriving, tourism is showing up in new places, and new parks are being created. First, a little geography lesson. Manhattan is an island. Brooklyn and Queens comprise the easternmost segments of Long Island, Staten Island is obviously an island, and the Bronx is not quite an island but has plenty of waterways in its midst. The Atlantic Ocean, New York Harbor, Hudson River, East River, Bronx River, and Long Island Sound all combine to play key roles in tourism and trade. Times Square is perhaps the crossroads that will always attract millions of visitors. Its bright lights are what give New York the moniker "the city that never sleeps". New York's waterways can be both vibrant and peaceful. These waterways can be a challenge at times, too, as was made clear when Hurricane Sandy caused major flooding and property damage in New York City and New Jersey.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are within New York Harbor. The New York Aquarium, in the process of a major expansion and rebuilding effort, is on Coney Island in Brooklyn, along an Atlantic Ocean beach. The Bronx Zoo is adjacent to the Bronx River. Cruise ships can be seen frequently on the Hudson River; a few years ago we were at Liberty State Park in Jersey City when we were excited to see the Disney Magic sail past us. On TV recently, we saw a program discussing how the Red Hook section of Brooklyn has become a trendy place to visit and eat, with its great views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. Last year, my wife and I took a photography workshop along the East River at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Just a couple of blocks from the Hudson River, the High Line in Manhattan converted a rusting elevated freight railroad to a beautiful park above street level.
So, whether you are a tourist or local resident, the next time you are in the Big Apple, take a moment to check out all of the surrounding waterways. Bring a camera. It may just create wonderful memories.
Views of & from NYC Waterways
All images ©The Write Palette 2012-2015.