Thursday, April 06, 2006

NYC Waterfront In The News

If you could make it past the WTC grimness on the front page of the Times this week, there were a couple of interesting articles about waterfront areas in Brooklyn and Manhattan. These require registration, and will be archived in a few days. Interesting articles, though.

Yesterday, there was an article about the Erie Barge Basin in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. A couple of days ago, when the Harry who is not the photographer of Harry's Hudson Photo Blog left a comment about protesting a water park on Randall's Island, I'd said "there's always this tension between commercial uses & not losing parkland to the private sector." Red Hook is currently seeing a different issue - tension between different types of commercial use. In this case, the barge basin is already there, and the operators are concerned that their potential new neighbors - who will be fairly well-to-do New Yorkers - might find that the quaintness of tug whistles wears off at 3 a.m.

The second article is about Pier A, at the north end of Battery Park. Now unlike my sentimental attachment to Pier 64, I don't think anybody would ever look at this pier and say anything but "What a neat old pier". It was a fireboat pier until the early 90's (this picture, from, was taken from the WTC in 1990) and with that charming Victorian architecture, clock tower, copper roof, arched windows, what's not to like? Only thing is, it's been sitting empty & unused because of legal wrangling between the city and the leaseholder for something like 17 years. I'd never quite gotten the story straight on it, I'd heard something vague along the lines of it was supposed to be renovated & made into a shopping mall, but there was some sort of legal hangup, then I'd heard that everything was set for work to get going, then it got hung up again - well, this doesn't precisely explain what the wrangling was about, but it's an interesting update with some of the players identified - mostly names I've heard before.

Finally, via the Seattle PI (and I just stumbled across this while looking for info on Pier A, so it's a bonus) - Transportation Alternatives is trying to ban ducks from the Hudson River.

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