Friday, March 31, 2017

Circumnavigating Long Island Part 8: Flushing to Bowery Bay -- Walking Around LaGuardia

To many, Long Island has a very strong sense of place. In this series, I seek to highlight the distinct regional character of the place by posting photos taken while walking its circumference starting from my home in Port Washington, heading west toward Brooklyn along the shore, back around to the southern shores to Montauk and Orient, and then back across the north shore to Port Washington. Since I have a day job and do not relish suburban and urban camping, I break these walks into pieces. 

Today's post focuses on northern Queens starting in Flushing, past LaGuardia Airport, to Bowery Bay. Essentially, this walk circles the southern and western edge of LaGuardia Airport. For each segment, I stay on public roads, trails, and/or beaches that get as close to the shore as possible. I don't go on dead ends and I avoid dangerous stretches where walking is problematic due to traffic. Hopefully, the series of photo essays provides insight into the geography of this region at this particular point in time. Previous segments are linked at the bottom of this post.

A view of Flushing Creek from the Northern Boulevard Bridge looking toward the north and the Whitestone Expressway.
The pedestrian section of the Northern Boulevard Bridge. It is so bouncy that I thought we had an earthquake.

Citi Field, home of the Mets, is just south of the bridge.
One of the dominant aspects about this leg of the walk is the presence of LaGuardia Airport. This leg of the walk goes around the airport. Thus planes are present in many of the images. While I cannot show sound, this was a very loud walk.

Tucked away between Flushing Bay and the main expressway that services La Guardia Airport (Grand Central Parkway) is a very nice, but loud waterfront park and walkway (Flushing Bay Promenade). The park and walkway are a nice respite from the intense industrial land uses along much of Flushing Bay.

The City of New York has an asphalt plant at the southwest portion of Flushing Bay.

A view toward LaGuardia Airport from the southernmost section of the Promenade.

The promenade and waterfront park are part of a large park complex that extends to the south called Flushing Meadows Corona Park which was the home to the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. 

The promenade is really quite lovely, although the combination of the airport and the parkway noises made me turn up the volume on the podcast I had playing through headphones.

A view of Flushing Bay with an airplane that just took off from LaGuardia.

I took this image to get a sense of how narrow the park is in many places. Here, the Grand Central Parkway abut a parking lot which itself is right next to the promenade. Citi Field is in the background.

There are quite a few water birds present along the promenade.

City of New York Parks often have wonderful artwork. Along the promenade are a series of posts that have carved stonework representing the alphabet through a plant and an animal. Here, I discovered Y.

This map shows the extent of the park. I was only in the far left along Flushing Bay. To see images of the areas to the right, see this post I wrote about the park.

There is a nice marina and boat launch in this park...

...with lots of slips.

I love these mid-century shelters. They go with the mid-century vibe of the 1964 World's Fair.

A typical view along the path.

Dredging along the bay.

There is a Neptune fountain along the park near a banquet hall that is run by the marina.

The banquet hall along the pathway. For those of you who know LaGuardia Airport, this is right by the gas station before you get to the airport.

Looking toward LaGuardia...

....another view...

...and another at the end of the parkway. This is about as close as you can get to the airport along the walking trail.

At the northern end of the park, one has to cross over Grand Central Parkway on a pedestrian bridge...

...which ends in a residential neighborhood...

...which has some airport hotels...

...and some long term parking facilities.

There are also access points to the airport from the neighborhood.

Another section near Ditmars Boulevard. Residential areas are interspersed with rental car operations.

Another street view...

...and another.

There is an aviation school near the site with a variety of airplanes and engines for student study...

...and buildings with classrooms.

Because of the odd shape of roadways near the airport and bay, there are several small pocket parks tucked along the edge of the airport.

There is also a ton of parking for airport employees and a center for buses.

Another overpass over Grand Central Parkway as I headed toward Bowery Bay.

The Bowery Bay Neighborhood near the extreme western edge of LaGuardia Airport.

Lobos de Queens.

Previous Circumnavigating Long Island Posts

Part 1. Port Washington to Manhasset
Part 2. Manhasset, Kings Point, Great Neck, Little Neck

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