Sunday, May 28, 2017

Circumnavigating Long Island Part 9: Bowery Bay, Ditmars Steinway, Astoria

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, around the west end of the island, east 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. 

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.

Today's post focuses on northern Queens starting just west of LaGuardia Airport near Bowery Bay. It follows the East River under the Hell Gate and Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough Bridge) through the Ditmars Steinway Neighborhood to Astoria . This segment has some beautiful views of Manhattan near Astoria Park. 

The views along the East River  in this segment are quite lovely.
The road to the notorious Rikers Island prison is near LaGuardia Airport.
Part of the walk follows the edge of an old landfill in an industrial area near Bowery Bay.

There is a great deal of food processing in this area. This building is for Water Lilies Food.

More industrial land use near Bowery Bay.

Where there is industrial land use, there is also great graffiti.

One cannot help but notice the smell of the Bowery Bay Wastewater Plant. It is hard to imagine that this area was once an amusement park similar to Coney Island.

The Astoria Energy power plant is right next to the sewage facility. The plant uses natural gas to produce power for Queens and the broader New York City area.

Another view.

Another industrial view past the power plant.

More food processing. This is the site for Rienzi Italian foods.

There are many trucks on the road here. Most that I saw were from the Ferrari truck driving school.

One of the most notable factories is the Steinway piano company which gives this part of Queens its name.

A street view after emerging from the industrial zone.
One of the things that makes New York City different from the rest of region is the presence of excellent bike infrastructure.

A small pocket park with lots of seating near a bus stop.
Some repairs underway to improve underground infrastructure on 20th Avenue.

Approaching Ralph Demarco Park.

A nice view of the Hells Gate Bridge.

Another view.

This section of the East River is called Hells Gate. It is a treacherous area of currents and tides.

Another view.

There are great views of Manhattan along the way.

The Hells Gate Bridge is quite lovely for a train bridge.

A mural under the bridge.
The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, also known as the Triborough Bridge.

The entire section along the East River has pleasant walking trails.

Across the street is Astoria Park.

Another view of the RFK Bridge.

Another view...notice the bike path?

Toward Manhattan.

Entering Astoria proper.

This is one of the few condominium towers on the water here. Most of the waterfront is public access.

Astoria street view...



The diversity of churches in Queens is a clue to the diversity of its inhabitants.

Goodwill Apartments.

Happy Memorial Day. Under the Hells Gate Bridge.
Previous Circumnavigating Long Island Posts

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

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