Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Waterfall Of Death

Regular readers of this blog know that I have been kvetching about the Waterfalls installation on on the East River here in New York. To me they have always just looked like scaffolding with water running off the top, something you see all over New York after a heavy rain. The fact that they were designed by a famous artist and cost $16 million to put up doesn't change that. But now it turns out the one right under the Brooklyn Bridge is damaging the nearby trees.

The Culprit

You can see that the trees right behind the "waterfall" and in the garden area of the River Cafe are unnaturally brown for this time of year. The damage is quite extensive, as you can see in the following pictures.

By the way, supposedly, once the waterfalls are turned off this fall, the the trees should make a full recovery. We can only hope, but in the meantime this "waterfall," rather than enhancing the view is turning it rather ugly.

Why they needed to put up this "waterfall" is beyond me. There is a lovely one that is also in the River Cafe garden.

Much Nicer

I will have to admit though, that it is a bit smaller than the monstrous tree killer.

A Matter Of Scale

A nice little nearby park area is adjacent to where construction is finally starting on the Brooklyn Bridge Park. There is a really big sandbox or a small beach, depending upon your point of view, for little kids to play in and benches with umbrellas where you can sit and admire the views. Best of all is a little snack stand where you can by over-priced hot dogs and beer.

You Are Paying For The View

Actually, the price of a beer isn't too bad for New York, $6 for a plastic cup of Brooklyn Lager, one of my favorites. I suspect it would be much pricier at the River Cafe, if you could even get in. At the River Cafe their idea of a special is the $95 prix fixe. I have eaten there and the view is really great, especially at night with all of Manhattan's lights twinkling across the river. The food and service is also quite good. For me though it is a special occasion kind of place. You need to make reservations for dinner well ahead of time but you can generally get in for lunch. And there is a bar where you can have a cocktail it seems like you should have a cocktail instead of a beer. A nicely made Bombay martini, straight-up with a twist sounds about right.

On the other hand, the views really can't get much better than the ones I enjoyed while sipping my beer.

A Lovely View Of The Brooklyn Bridge And Manhattan

Directly across the river is the South Street Seaport, a very touristy place with over-priced food and drinks. To be avoided at all costs.

South Street Seaport

The tents you see are for Spiegel World, a European style burlesque show with little cafes and bars in the smaller tents. I missed going last year but I am going to make a real effort this time around.

If you ever get to New York for a visit I strongly recommend you take a trip on the Circle Line. It offers a couple of different river cruises and it really is one of those things that is well worth the price. If you have the time I would recommend you take the longer trip that completely circles Manhattan. You might not make it all the way around though, depending upon the tides.

Circling Tourists

A neat way to get around town is the Water Taxi. This service just started a few years ago and it has a huge hit.

Not Your Average Yellow Cab

As a side note, I think figured out why the "waterfall" on Governor's Island wasn't flowing the night I went to the Cyclone/Yankees game (pictures on my next posting). Each "waterfall" is equipped with a wind meter that temporarily shuts down the water if it is too windy. At least I think that was the reason.

1 comment:

granola.freeman said...

I'll take the Circle Tour boat, but only if they go by that new and beautiful scaffold waterfall that everyone's talking about.