I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beach Mouse, City Mouse

Hi, everyone...yes it's snowing in NYC as I type this. But the past few days have been gloriously autumn and despite the discomfort and sadness of having left the beach, I know I am more fortunate than many Sandy survivors.

On the other hand I am very in need of a map! This is a whole new Manhattan to me. My temporary refuge is a beautiful apartment in NYC's Battery Park City. here  

This is a planned enclave on the Hudson River, south and west of Wall Street and the new WTC. Quiet, with manicured esplanades, parks, marinas, sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Hard to believe that this area and much of lower Manhattan---I've heard as far up as 14th Street!--- was under water from Sandy's storm surge, just a little over a week ago.

My friend has fabulous views from his rooftop terrace!
Statue of Liberty...

New World Trade Center...

Lower Manhattan is a fantastic surreal mix of places and humanity...

The Wall Street bull...just stands in the midst of chaos

It was very dark, with police cars and traffic cops on every corner, every block [apres-hurricane protection]. And such a mix of centuries: the modern mixed randomly with very old and historic...

early 1900s steamship wharf,
being recycled for boutiqu and food space

Very old spaces abound; some recycled with new intent, while others retain their eighteenth century original use, like tiny round Bowling Green Park, the oldest park in NYC. It has been a public space since the early 1600s!

It faces the majestic original Alexander Hamilton Customs House that is now a museum. On its other side is the huge Titanic-fame Cunard Line building, now an "I don't know what"--- apartments? Radio Shack ?

There has been a church here since 1698,
current version is from mid1800s

Trinity Church, above, and its New England graveyard, just plunked down among the skyscrapers. Or vice versa I guess.

And then there is the very new:

WTC reflection at night,
seen on another huge glass tower

Still rising hopefully from the ashes...

...the exotic, like these majestic royal palms inside the World Financial Center that is really [and rather bizarrely] a food and shopping mall.

The people, too--harried New Yorkers trudging rapidly about their lives, endless crews of Con Ed and other massive equipment trucks pumping the floodwater out of the tunnels, the subways, the basements and garages...And in every other space, masses of tourists, all frantically walking somewhere, all armed with huge lethal backpacks and camera phones.

To see the regular residents blandly walk past the endless lines at the WTC Memorial [why is it barricaded and invisible?] left me shaking my head in wonder.

And then the new WTC itself. Construction everywhere. You can actually walk right through the base of the construction, there's this massive foot bridge thing, lol...and when you come out you crane your neck and look up, and up, and up.....

For me, as a survivor / evacuee, one of  the best things so far in NYC---on the night when we arrived from the cold dark beach we went to NYC classic pub, its incarnation at the Battery, P J Clarke's. That was the first hot food we'd had in days...man, that was the best burger and fries I think I've ever eaten!
More NYC soon, as we are relocated indefinitely, our little bit of heaven at the beach has been abandoned by officialdom and repair crews alike.



gone to the beach