On a rainy, foggy evening, we walked along what is almost the Brooklyn waterfront, to see what had become of the park on the East River, whose fence-banners proclaim a "Winter 2010" opening. After a long, traffic-noisy trudge from Atlantic Avenue, along Furman Street, we saw a lot of earth moving. It looked a lot like it did a year ago.
But right at the end, beside the Fulton Landing, in the shadow (if there had been sun for a shadow) of the Brooklyn Bridge's Brooklyn Tower - completed in 1875 - there was green. Officially called Pier 1.
Pretty perfect green. Imagine a blue sky day. New leaves on trees. Picnics.
Yesterday evening, as New York was preparing to set another March rainfall record, the park was deserted, aside from two other intrepid visitors, two rangers, and an elderly cleaner, cleaning an impeccably clean space. The cleaner smiled shyly at me, and I back at him. I think we were both happy to be on brand new turf.
One has a new view of the Watchtower stronghold, too. It is so weird. What is In there? Bibles? For all the people who are not allowed into heaven?
Very unprepossessing in this picture, but a series of granite steps overlooking the East River is a wonderful, raked amphitheatre for the Brooklyn audience to behold Manhattan, across the water.
The best part for us, was our proximity to water. The thick-moving, powerfully-flowing water of the East 'River', pale brown, reacting to tide and tributaries pouring runoff from the rest of the state into the sea.
I have always loved this working waterway. When it has been cleaned up, I will miss some of the dereliction.
Between the park and the BQE, demolition and reconstruction continue.
And from above, near the Promenade, it appeared that this abandoned, sunken park might be part of the makeover.
What would the Roeblings - father and son - think if they could see their bridge (completed in 1883) now? What would George Washington have thought, in 1776, retreating with his troops to Manhattan? He who could not have imagined the Brooklyn Bridge, let alone an iPod?
A long way to go until it is green, but a helluvan improvement over the inaccessible wharves of before.
The park has a lot of rules. I can predict that we'll break at least one of them. What is a picnic without bubbles?
Check back in May.