Saturday, August 19, 2017

Circumnavigating Long Island Part 10: Astoria to Long Island City

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 western Queens starting at Socrates Sculpture Park to the Pulaski Bridge toward Brooklyn. It follows the East River past the Roosevelt Island Bridge and under the Queensboro Bridge. This segment follows some parkland and industrial land uses along the East River to a revitalized waterfront in Long Island City.

A view toward the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan across the tip of Roosevelt Island from Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens.

A view toward Midtown from Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens.

The main lawn of the Socrates Sculpture Park. It is built on an old landfill. Read about the current exhibit here.

Another view of the park.
Folks doing yoga in the Socrates Sculpture Park.
A small farmers' market in the Socrates Sculpture Park.
Between Socrates Sculpture Park and Rainey Park is a drive in and walk in Costco. I saw lots of folks with their own two-wheel baskets walking to this site from residential neighborhoods in the area.
The entrance to Rainey Park has some nice tiles made by children on the gate. This is only one of several examples at the entrance.
The ubiquitous symbol of a New York Park: the leaf in a circle.

A nice view of the Roosevelt Island Bridge over the East River from Rainey Park.

New York is the center of the U.S. entertainment industry, so it is no surprise that one finds a lighting equipment company in Queens.

After leaving the nice parkland and the Costco areas of eastern Long Island City, one enters an industrial zone. To the right is the Ravenswood Generating Station, one of the largest electricity generating sites in New York City. It was originally going to be developed for nuclear energy. 

A view toward the Roosevelt Island Bridge from Vernon Boulevard.

Another view of the Ravenswood Generating Plant. Note the Queensboro Bridge in the background.
The entrance to Queensbridge Park which is west of the Ravenswood Generating Plant.

A view toward Midtown, note the United Nations to the left, from Queensbridge Park.

The Queensboro Bridge from Queensbridge Park.

Another view.

A soccer field in Queensbridge Park.

The Con Edison Learning Center near Queensbridge Park.

A streetscape between Queensbridge Park and the redeveloped areas of Long Island City.

It is hard to see it in this photo, but this is an artist's studio which does sculpture of ironworkers. See this.

A view toward the redeveloped (and gentrified) areas of Long Island City.
Yup, gentrification.
Nearby is this haunted house with some impressive horror murals.
I should have taken more photos of the redevelopment in this area, however, this is one of many many high rise apartment and condo buildings that have been built in this area. The entire East River shoreline has been redeveloped into an impressive park system.

A view toward downtown from the Long Island City Promenade.


A focus on the United Nations across from Long Island City.

An old Pepsi Cola sign along the promenade. 

Part of the new public space along the East River shoreline in Long Island City.

This is actually part of a State Park complex called Gantry State Park. This is an area where barges and trains connected to bring goods to Long Island.

Another abandoned gantry. This area is distinctly not industrial. It is a perfect example of gentrification.

A rather nice dog park in the area.
A nice picnic/restaurant area in Long Island City.
Yoga in a former zone of train/barge interaction.

Toward downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center.
Many industrial zones remain near Long Island City--a remnant of past land uses that are being resused. I noted a number of engineering, food processing, and transportation land uses here.

It is surprising to run into streets like this so close to a gentrified zone, but this is but a few hundred feet from where new Long Island City residents are doing Yoga in the park. Note the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn in the distance. The next segment will begin on the Pulaski Bridge.
Part 1. Port Washington to Manhasset
Part 2. Manhasset, Kings Point, Great Neck, Little Neck

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