The New Port waterfront extends from exchange place to Hoboken rail terminal and much much ahead of it. The piers, gardens, walkways, roadside cafes create a beautiful setup for locals to hang around, jog, roam around on bike and admire the New York skyline. You can get really close to New York from here, using one of those high resolution binoculars, placed at few places.
It’s a great place for fitness lovers to jog in the morning and for the oldies to stroll around, watch the crisp and shiny New York skyline or sit at the bench and listen to the music of Hudson River, as it dashes below the board walk against the rocks.
The summer is a celebration time here in US, after going through the long and severe winters. The activities are restricted to skiing and shopping, during winters and everyone is just waiting for those sunny days. Come summer and people can shade those jackets and coats and enjoy some greenery and bright sunlight.
As you walk along, starting from Hayyat, the waterfront continues till Bank of America, just in front of the New Port Mall. After a break, the waterfront continues further, along the Hudson, with tall residential complexes, like River Court, Ocean on the banks.
The informative plaques at short distances give information about, how this area has developed over a period of time. The Dutch took the land, now called Pavonia from Leni Lepej, the natives of this land during 1630. The land was more of a marsh land, but the Dutch found the land to be quite fertile. The goods used to be transferred to New Amsterdam (Currently Manhattan) from here. The British took over this land during 1665 and the area called as Harsimus cove got developed. Slowly the waterfront came into picture.
The rail network flourished in this area with multiple rail companies like Erie and Lakawana operating in this area. The waterfront was used previously for ferries to receive the goods from ships, that used to carry goods like coal, meat, farm produce from south coast to New Port and then to New York. As roads started becoming major way of transport, this place was abandoned by Erie, the company who used to run these ferries.
In 1983, with the development of interstate highways the road transport became a major way of transport. Much of the population migrated from here as the rail companies closed down and filed bankruptcy.
Again in 1985 this place got a makeover and number of commercial and residential complexes flourished here. The vicinity to New York and multiple ways of quickly reaching New York (Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, PATH trains, Ferry Terminal etc.), has made this place really popular among people working in New York.
The Hoboken has a huge rail terminal with a number of NJ transit and even a Light Rail terminal. It’s got a bus terminal as well. A old ferry terminal catches your attention with its artistic and fancy looking gates and exteriors, which is closed now.
The plaques also give good information about the birds found at the waterfront. The seagulls, geese, cormorants are common here.I could capture few Geese, Ducks and Seagulls in my Sony H50 here. The cormorants seem to be most lazy, but equally skillful. Watching the standstill Cormorants, sitting on the wooden logs specially installed for these birds, forming a V shape using their wings, as they wait to catch a fish, is good fun .A quick dive into the water and they are back with their loved food in their beak, the Hudson river fish. It is their patience and a well developed skill that amazes me a lot.
They can keep sitting on those wooden logs for eternity as if a monk, meditating for self realization. Off course the realization for these cormorants is nothing but catching their favorite food. The only movement that you see in them is jumping from one wooden log to the other, balancing and settling self and continuing the meditation.
The seagulls make lot of noise. Their gliding ability and becoming momentarily standstill in air, against the wind, is an interesting skill. They don’t like to sit quietly and are out in air most of the time, making those harsh sounds as they make those sudden and smooth landing in the water.
The geese never believe in short distance flight. They always travel a lot and when they land they make sure they have taken enough rest before they fly again. Ducks are very much interested in floating over the water and keep playing hide and seek around the wooden logs. Their favorite pass time is to, get on to one of the wooden logs and clean their feather at a leisure and if you watch them carefully, they are generally so engrossed in this task.
I could feel the celebration in the air, as a loud music was being played at one of the roadside cafes. The cute and cozy European style cafes looked attractive and the people were enjoying good food and the warm sunny weather.
I was sitting at one of the benches and watching sun disappear and the skyline lit up the shore of Hudson, gradually illuminating the whole shoreline. It’s great to watch the whole phenomena. The place is especially great place for amateur couples to get little romantic and kids to act like real kids and happy parents to watch them enjoy their play.
I parted the place with lot of good memories, hoping to return and be a party to this celebration of life before I go back to India.