The Search for Ice 2: Battery Park City

The fact that New York Harbor does not freeze over very often has contributed to its greatness as a port. At least compared to Boston. I thought the Hudson would not be a good place to look for ice. Coincidentally I was in Chelsea, I saw that there was indeed ice forming so I went back on Feb. 7 specifically to look for ice.

Hudson River from Battery Park, Feb 7, 2014

South Cove, Battery Park City, Feb 7, 2014

Amazing ice. Eureka! Oddly enough when I came back in the afternoon the ice was completely dispersed from this area.

Hudson River, looking toward Jersey City, February 7, 2014

Hudson River, looking toward Jersey City, February 7, 2014

 

Ferry Terminal, World Financial Center, February 7, 2014

Ferry Terminal, World Financial Center, February 7, 2014

 

Hudson River at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

Hudson River at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

 

Hudson River at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

Hudson River at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

What a difference a few hours make. the color was totally different and the ice was breaking up. The air temperature was just the same so I guess it had to do with the way the tide was moving.

Jersey City, from Battery park, February 7, 2014

Jersey City, from Battery Park, February 7, 2014

North Cove Marina, Battery park City, February 7, 2014

North Cove Marina, Battery Park City, February 7, 2014

 

North Cove Marina, World Financial Center, February 7, 2014

North Cove Marina, World Financial Center, February 7, 2014

 

The Hudson at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

The Hudson at Chambers Street, February 7, 2014

 

 

In search of Ice: Brooklyn Bridge Park

The cold weather was causing ice to form in the waters around New York City. As a photographer of water this seemed a great opportunity. I thought the ice would form more easily if the water had less activity so I started my quest for ice in Brooklyn Bridge Park where the small wetland area has been built by the old piers. This seemed protective enough for ice.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 4:50, January 24, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 5:30 pm, January 24, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 5:49 pm, January 24, 2014

Seeing the color change over the course of an hour was pure pleasure.

 

Coney in winter

The temperature was a single digit on January 22 when I walked the beach at Coney Island. The cold was painful but the color was ecstatic.

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

 

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014,

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

I have always been fascinated with the way the wind blows over the beach at Coney. The very dry snow made it even more dramatic.

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

 

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

 

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

 

Brighton Beach, January 22, 2014

Brighton Beach, January 22, 2014

 

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Steeplechase Pier, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Boardwalk, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Boardwalk, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Boardwalk, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

Boardwalk, Coney Island, January 22, 2014

 

 

 

Midland Beach

According to both the map published in the New York Times and the map in SILive.com, Midland Beach had the highest number of fatalities caused by Sandy in New York City: 11 people. Here is some great information about what happened there by Matthew Schuerman of WNYC News and another piece by Philip Orton.

It is still hurting.

Midland Neighborhood Relief, Midland Avenue, January 17, 2014

Midland Neighborhood Relief, Midland Avenue, January 17, 2014

Many of the homes and businesses are still empty.

Midland Avenue, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Avenue, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Avenue, Staten island, January 17, 2014

Midland Avenue, Staten island, January 17, 2014

Midland Avenue, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Avenue, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

On the beach, there is major work going on. I am not sure it it is straight forward beach restoration or the beginning of the levees described in Bloomberg’s proposal to protect the city from climate change.

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Looking the other way.

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

There was so much sand other than the Verrazano, it reminded me of White Sands, New Mexico.

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

There is a few block area called Ocean Breeze that is getting to get buyouts like Oakwood Beach. The neighborhood  slopes down from Father Capodanno Blvd. It isn’t hard to see how the water would flood there.

Father Capodanno Blvd, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island. January 17, 2014

Father Capodanno Blvd, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island. January 17, 2014

 

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

There is a memorial for two residents, Ella Norris and James Rossi Sr. who died in Ocean Breeze as a result of Sandy.

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

If you look closely at the telephone pole, you can see the mark for how high the water was during Sandy.

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Quincy Avenue, Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Father Capodanno Blvd., Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Father Capodanno Blvd., Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Comanche Avenue, Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Comanche Avenue, Midland Beach, Staten Island, January 17, 2014

Midland Beach is unlikely to get the buyouts offered to Oakwood Beach and Ocean Breeze. The city is putting resources into protecting the neighborhood. And new government guidelines require elevating homes 10 feet. But will it be enough?

 

Arverne in the fog

On January 15th, the city was covered in a very thick fog. I went out to the Rockaways to see the fog there. I got off the train at B67. Between the train and the beach is Arverne-by-the-sea a relatively new housing development that supposedly did okay during Sandy.

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

The boardwalk is still a mess.

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

 

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

 

Arverne, Queens, Janaury 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, Janaury 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Even though the boardwalk has not been rebuilt, most of the beach has been sandbagged.

Arverne, Queens, Janaury 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, Janaury 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

The surfers were out.

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Arverne, Queens, January 15, 2014

Hackensack River

On January 8th, Nancy Cohen and I continued our exploration of the Hackensack. It was very cold a day or so after the polar vortex and we went looking for ice. On the map, I could see Bellman’s Creek would be a bit more protected than some more open areas of the Hackensack. We started by looking for access points to it. The only access is from a road that runs along the railroad.

Bellman's Creek, Hackensack River, Seacacus, NJ, 2014

Bellman’s Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Bellman's Creek, Hackensack River, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Bellman’s Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

We drove around looking for access and ended up going down Claiborne Ave and saw a deer in the parking lot.

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ

So in front of us was a very thin strip of land before the Cromakill Creek and behind us was a parking lot and very nondescript office building. This deer lives in a small untended area between the water and the boxy buildings holding businesses that were not proudly displaying their logos. We followed the deer paths through the reeds.

Cromakill Creek, Hackensack River, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

 

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

It is amazing how in this small area that I can’t call nature how abundantly things grow.

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Cromakill Creek, North Bergen, NJ, 2014

Then we decided to go back to one of our favorite spots: Mill Creek. It is a bigger version of the strip where the deer lives. It is a small area that is surrounded by 95 on one side, a shopping mall on another and on a third a waste water treatment plant.

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

And from across Mill Creek we were now looking at the two buildings that defined the deer’s territory and paths that we had just walked.

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

These are certainly castles made of sand. Meaning buildings threatened by flooding.

As is the Mill Creek Mall.

Mill Creek Mall, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek Mall, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Another reason it is really fun to shoot here is the visibility of the skyline of Manhattan

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

 

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

 

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

Mill Creek, Secaucus, NJ, 2014

 

Oakwood Beach, Staten Island

Oakwood Beach was hard hit by Sandy. In the four streets to the east of Mill Road, most of the homes are no longer occupied. The area is now considered to be indefensible from the ocean. The state is buying out approximately 185 homeowners and planning to return the area to nature. Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

This was the first time I had been in Oakwood Beach since the fall and all the boarded up windows and doors made it so much clearer how many people have had to leave their homes than it had been even a few months before.

Tarlton Street, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Tarlton Street, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

 

Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Oakwood Beach is part of the Staten Island Blue Belt but it isn’t enough to protect the homes from flooding.

Foxbeach Ave., Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Foxbeach Ave., Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

 

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Not every window is boarded up. Some still show a bit of the lives once lived there.

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

The neighborhood is still graced with natural beauty. The light on this tree in the late afternoon was amazing.

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Foxbeach Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

This building is still partially occupied. A few people remain.

Fox Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Fox Lane, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

The homes across the street on the other side of Mill road are also mostly boarded up.

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

And then there is Kissam Avenue.

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Of the area nearest the beach, approximately three out of nine homes remain.

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

The others were reduced to rubble and removed by the city.

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

Kissam Avenue, Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, January 4, 2014

 

Happy 2014

My favorite thing to do on New Year’s Day is to watch the polar bears swim at Coney Island. This year, it was cold and gray.

Coney Island, January 1, 2014

Coney Island, January 1, 2014

Coney island, january 1, 2014

Coney Island, January 1, 2014

But as joyous as ever!

Great Kills, Staten Island

I had photographed in Great Kills once before in June 2011. Last Tuesday, I went back to the area. I walked over Richmond Avenue to Tennyson Drive. Almost immediately, I could feel the impact of Sandy. A path beckoned me to walk through to the beach. There was a good deal of construction debris along the path.

Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2013

From the beach, the damage done by Sandy is still very visible.

Beach side Oceanic Avenue home, August 6, 2013

Two years ago the street side of this home was private and protected by a wooden fence. You can see what it looks like now on the beach side above and below what it looks like on the street side.

Oceanic Avenue, Great Kills, Staten Island, June 2, 2011

Oceanic Drive, Great Kills, Staten Island. NY, August 6, 2013

The end of Seacrest Ave, the next street over, looked like this in 2011.

Seacrest Avenue, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

It looks like this now.

Seacrest Ave, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2013

On the left side of the fence above, there was a house at 99 Seacrest Ave.

99 Seacrest Avenue, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

Now there is nothing there. A family’s home. Simply gone. Well probably not so simply. They most likely had to pay to have it removed.

99 Seacrest Avenue, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2013

The highlight of my visit to this area in 2011 was meeting the man who lived in this house. He was retired from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and his home seemed like a paradise. This was the entrance:

Goodall Street, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

Once inside the fence, there was this green house and many lovely plants everywhere.

Goodall Street, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

This is the house now.

Goodall Street, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2011

I expressed an interest in horse shoe crabs and I was invited to go around through the property to the beach to see if there were any around which being June there certainly were.

Crescent Beach, Staten Island, June 2, 2011

I loved the house or compound really. It was an example of self-expression as much as a shelter.

Goodall Street and Crescent Beach, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

The loss experienced by many after Sandy is so sad but this breaks my heart.

Goodall Street, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2013

Goodall Street, Great Kills, Staten Island. NY, August 6, 2013

On my first visit as I was leaving I stopped to talk to a man who was installing solar panels on a little house back from the street.

Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, June 2, 2011

Now that house looks like this. No one was there when I stopped by last Tuesday. In 2011, there were no fences around the front of this little house. I have seen this in other areas like Hamilton Beach as well where owners try to protect damaged homes from vandals. Another sad result of hurricane Sandy.

Crescent Beach, Great Kills, Staten Island, NY, August 6, 2013

Galveston, Houston Day 3

Along the lettered avenues of Galveston in the East End historic district, you can easily see hurricane damage.

Galveston, TX, March 26, 2013

In fact, some people in Galveston decided to make sculptures out of the trees damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, creating something beautiful out of the loss of so many trees. You can go on a self-guided tour of these sculptures.

Tree Sculpture, Galveston, TX, March 6, 2013

Galveston’s vulnerability to hurricanes caused its downfall as a port. The dredging of the Houston Ship Channel out of the Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay started in the 1830s but was seriously pursued in the first decades of the 20th century. The ship channel makes the port of Houston possible. The Texas oilfields guaranteed its use for petroleum.

That afternoon, I took Sam Houston Boat Tour of the Houston Ship Channel. There are very few public access points to the channel so this free tour is the best opportunity to see it. It is approximately 50 miles long and 530 ft wide by 45 feet deep. It makes the Arthur Kill and the Newtown Creek look like sleepy nature preserves. It is certainly one of the hearts of the petroleum industry in the United States.

Houston Ship Channel, March 26, 2013

I found the scale of industry along the ship channel overwhelming.

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Houston Ship Channel, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

After the tour I got a bit lost. There are large sections of Houston that are very unevenly developed. This lonely house was so odd I had to stop.

Houston, TX, march 26, 2013

I finally found a spot to park along the White Oak Bayou and got out of the car and walked along it. It is hard to believe that this tiny, slow moving water will join with the Buffalo Bayou to become the Houston Ship Channel as it flows east.

White Oak Bayou, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013

Hogan Street and I-45, White Oak Bayou, Houston, TX, March 26, 2013