We love walking around New York. On this trip we discovered a great walk along the Hudson river. The Riverside Park, NYC is considered one of the best riverside walks in Manhattan.
The park has been improved and added to since it’s humble beginnings in1865 into one of the loveliest parks in Manhattan. Since the City Beautiful Movement in the early twentieth century, the Riverside park NYC began to serve as a spot for placing monuments and sculptures celebrating the city’s heroes. Today it is also filled with public art, cafés and sports fields. It has a character all of it’s own making it one of the ‘things to do’ in Manhattan.
We entered the park at the entrance where the Eleanor Roosevelt statue stands (inside Riverside Park at West 72nd Street and Riverside Drive). She was the niece of one president and the wife of another. When her husband was in the White House she greatly expanded the role of The First Lady.
Eleanor was educated in England, so we have a small claim to her. It is the first public statue of a president’s wife in America and only the second public statue of an American woman in New York City! Among other things, she was a teacher and writer. She was also an advocate for women, minorities, young people, labor and the poor, and is greatly admired by Hilary Clinton.
Head behind the memorial, past the dog park (on your left) and head under the tunnel. There you will find some steps that take you down to the Riverside park, NYC.
There are a whole load of sports fields throughout the park, including baseball, handball, volleyball and soccer. If it’s a ball game, there’s likely to be a space for it! It’s very much a local park, so you won’t just be mixing with other tourists here.
The park has a unique feel to it as it’s squeezed between a major road set up on a steel flyover and the calm waters of the river Hudson.
There used to be the Hudson River Railroad here and today you can still see the ninety-five year old gantry which remains standing today, liking like a ghost from the past.
Pier I (at 70th Street in the Park) was originally part of the old rail-yard. It was reconstructed to its original length of 795 feet, but it is considerably narrower now. Also, rather than being perpendicular to the shore, like most piers, Pier I was built at a 55º angle to the shore. This was the angle of the original pier which facilitated the transfer of rail cars from their tracks to the waiting barges.
Today it’s a pleasant walk, where you can mingle with men fishing, dog walkers or just look down the river and watch the boats go by.
You can also enjoy the views back, with the high rises of the Upper West Side.
Pieces of public art line the Riverside Park NYC and they are generally thought provoking pieces.
Hauntingly beautiful are the remnants of old industry.
Pilings remain of other piers, too.
There are 3 cafés in the Riverside Park NYC. This small kiosk sells some basic refreshments but was closed during our walk.
What we didn’t get to see was No. 25. This is a 60 year old, 95 ton train engine that laboured on the Brooklyn waterfront. It now sits as the centrepiece of a plaza at 62nd Street. So make sure you don’t miss it.
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