Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Nor'easter, Bristol, CT

This is what happens when snow falls on trees BEFORE the leaves fall ! One appreciates how clever nature is, but it can occasionally become outfoxed ! Btw, a Nor'easter describes a low-pressure area whose center of rotation is just off the East Coast and whose leading winds in the left forward quadrant rotate onto land from the northeast.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inspiration Point, Manhattan, New York, NY

Inspiration Point Shelter, on Henry Hudson Parkway at 190th Street, opened in 1925 as a resting place for pedestrians and leisure drivers. Designed by architect Gustave Steinacher in 1924, the neoclassical sitting area opened a year later and quickly became a favorite of Hudson River tourists. It was a stopping point for drivers and walkers along the Riverside Drive, and at one point, wrote Christopher Gray in his 1989 book Changing New York: The Architectural Scene, the structure originally had bathrooms and a roof. But after Robert Moses built the Henry Hudson Parkway in the 1930s, Inspiration Point was cut off from the rest of Manhattan — and it began decades of decline. The city renovated the structure soon after Gray’s book was published — although the bathrooms and the roof were permanently done away with. It remains under the control of the Parks Department. A short ride further north and one can see the remains of the Cornelius Billings Estate, the grand stone gallery that once marked the beginning of the 1600 ft long drive to the main house (see p. 5, The New York Times, Jan 11, 2009) is now accessible from Ft. Tryon Park.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Red Lighthouse, Manhattan, New York, NY

The lighthouse was first established in 1889 at Sandy Hook, NJ. It was reconstructed in 1921 on the Hudson, operational until 1947. It was made famous by the 1942 children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift and Lynd Ward. The "great gray bridge" is clearly the George Washington Bridge, though it is not named in the book. Construction on the bridge began in 1927, only 6 years after the lighthouse was erected at its current location, and concluded in 1931. The proposed dismantling of the lighthouse in 1951 resulted in a public outcry, largely from fans of Swift's book, leading to the preservation of the lighthouse by the City of New York/Parks & Recreation. Note the Homeland Security watch station.