Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Unusual Urban Hike Around Norton Point, Coney Island

Brighton Beach pup watching the world go by. 

This goes back a ways now, but this weekend ended up being quieter than I'd hoped due to getting a cold, so I'm circling back to it now. This was on November 19th, which was forecasted to be a nice day to get outside. I think I'd had ideas about going for a paddle, but didn't get my act together fast enough (always an issue in these days of limited daylight and ridiculous amounts of gear), so I decided to head out to Coney Island for one of my "urban hikes" instead -- and I was glad I did, because for the first time EVER, the western end of the Coney Island boardwalk wasn't the turn-around point!

Instead, my route was something like this:

I caught the bus down to Ocean Avenue to near the Sheepshead Bay subway station, then walked down Brighton 10, which angles over toward the boardwalk. I've walked this route before and I like it because it's got this old-school Brooklyn feel to it; so much of the borough is all this flashy new stuff but not in this particular section so far (although it's not that Brighton Beach hasn't been hit by the developers - in fact, quite the contrary - old post but interesting, I do wonder what the situation is now). Got to the boardwalk and headed west, stopping to take a couple of pictures at the old Child's Restaurant, which reopened this summer as the Ford Amphitheater. Interesting setup, the stage is built into the side of the building, with the seating area outdoors in the lot to the west. What caught my eye was that the beautiful terra cotta ornaments on the building are beginning to emerge from the renovation scaffolding, it was nice to see those again, I've always liked those, and it was especially interesting to see some of it up close - beautiful design and colors! 

After that stop, I headed on, expecting to turn around where the boardwalk ends at the Sea Gate gated community, but when I got there, the gate in the big chain-link fence that cuts off the Sea Gate beach was standing wide open. I'd never seen that before! I looked around to see if there were people working...nope! I've paddled around the point a few times, and I didn't recall a similar fence on the other side, so I decided I would see if I could walk all the way around Norton Point to Coney Island Creek Park on the north side of Coney Island. It worked fine, there was one section right at the tip that was all boulders, so a bit of a scramble, other than that, just smooth beach walking. Fun finally getting to see the Norton Point Light from a little closer, and the Verranzano Narrows Bridge looked beautiful at twilight. I finished my walk at the Stillwell subway station, just under 6 miles, and a very nice (and unusual) way to spend an afternoon.

All pictures after this, click on the first one for slideshow view. Photo with the red flag is the last one on the public beach at Coney Island - after that I'm in the part of Coney Island that's usually inaccessible. BTW I have no idea what the building in the last photo is, it just looked intriguing with the metal decorations on the front shining in the dark. 


Alana said...

Lovely series of photos. Posted on Facebook for the pleasure of my Brooklyn friends and family.

Unknown said...

I like the pics, especially with the sun going down.

I tend to walk exactly the same route, more or less, every time I walk. Mostly because I am often thinking about things and on auto-pilot. You have inspired me to trya new route next time.

bonnie said...

Thanks Alana! Hope they enjoy!

Nasreen - oh, you would have laughed if you could've seen me wavering there at the open gate - I have my favorite walks too, and this is one of them, and I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I got to the chain-link fence that has always, always, always marked the turnaround point to find the gate standing open and unattended. I just hovered there looking around, expecting to see some official-looking people making sure the riffraff didn't get in - I looked and looked and looked but nope, nobody around. Even then I was hesitating, I am a terribly law-abiding person and I just don't ordinarily go places where I know I'm supposed to go. But it was a beach, so I went! :D