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A Sunset Stroll: Twenty Blocks Along Riverside Park South, 59th Street – 79th Street, New York’s New Upper West Side Park on the Hudson
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A Sunset Stroll: Twenty Blocks Along Riverside Park South, 59th Street – 79th Street, New York’s New Upper West Side Park on the Hudson

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A Sunset Stroll: Twenty Blocks Along
Riverside Park South, 59th Street – 79th Street,
New York’s New Upper West Side Park on the Hudson
(NYC Parks - Riverside South Web Page)
(Riverside Park Conservancy Website)

A Photo Essay

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 1, 2013


Riverside Park South is one of the loveliest walking destinations New York has to offer. Thanks to Riverside Park Conservancy, private funding of the local real estate developers, and brilliant architecture, Riverside Park South is now in full bloom, with wildflowers on pristine walking paths, small flocks of geese and families of ducks, swimming in full view, and new large scale art sculptures, a part of the Art Students League’s Model to Monument (M2M) series in the park. How exceptional, to be strolling along the Hudson and gaze upon a giant ring, with a red apple where the diamond would perch. There’s even a bite in that apple. Further north, you will pass a steel ballerina in tutu, en pointe, within a rough patch of old waterway paraphernalia, beneath the West Side Highway. In fact, also beneath the highway, at 70th Street, there’s a Café called Pier i Café, bustling with diners, from morning to night, with cars, motorcycles, and taxis whizzing by overhead.

This stretch of the city’s former industrial coastline used to be known for its freight trains, piers, and docks. Many of those relics remain, in various levels of visibility, right within the park’s new design. There’s a historical locomotive that evokes the New York Central Railroad, there are deteriorating strips of original wooden piers, and there’s a bit of train track on land and an old railroad transfer bridge. Thomas Balsley Associates, Riverside Park South designer, created seven stages for completion. Between 59th Street and 62nd Streets, site of the newest stage of construction on the Hudson, Extell is developing Riverside Center, with several new apartment buildings, a hotel, an elementary school, a movie multiplex, and more. There’s an air of sublime refinement and aesthetics, as sailboats, ferries, barges, luxury cruise ships, smaller cruising boats, schooners, and kayaks sail by in glistening sunlight, warm sunset, dim dusk, or the stillness of midnight. One level higher, if you look up, helicopters stream by, and, even higher, the eye catches airplanes, migrating geese, and fluttering seagulls.

The activity along Riverside Park South Promenade and 70th Street Pier includes jogging and strolling, while the areas for recreation are filled with pilates, zumba, and yoga classes, basketball, children’s theatre, social dance classes, bands and world music, weekly outdoor movies, and kite-flying. In fact, the Pier extends about one-third, or so it seems, into the Hudson, and fishermen wait on the Pier for catfish and other Hudson River catches. Today I also walked to the 79th Street Boat Basin, along the northern strip of pathways. Luxury yachts and smaller crafts are stationed year-round, with many quite active, during the warmer months. At night, these boats gleam in the spotlights of the walkways, as well as the outdoor lights of the Boat Basin Café. Strolling along the Hudson is a serendipitous and ever-surprising exploration, as the sky over New Jersey is constantly shifting in light and weather, and the paths and promenades are constantly sprouting new foliage, art projects, and seasonal events. You can fully absorb this urban bucolic experience, even alone. New Yorkers and visitors arrive solo, in duo, in families, with groups of friends and colleagues, or with their energized dogs of all sizes. Riverside Park, itself, extends north up to the George Washington Bridge, and one can also walk south to 42nd Street, by meandering paths on or near the river, passing the larger piers. You can plan for a long hike, or bring a fancy picnic, or join in exercise or entertainment, or carry a magazine or book, or, better, just gaze at the loveliness and totally relax.



Dinnertime, Pier i Cafe, Under the Parkway
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



70th Street Pier at Riverside Park South on the Hudson
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Riverside Park South Walkway
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



View of Cruise Ships on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Old Railroad Piers on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



View of George Washington Bridge
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Theater Shell for Music on on the 70th Street Pier
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Old Pier from NY Central Railroad
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Old Piers from NY Central Railroad
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Sunset on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Queen Anne's Lace Wildflowers
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Old Piers from NY Central Railroad
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



View of Old Railroad Transfer Bridge
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Picnic Tables Under the Highway
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Walkway Over the Rocks
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Pink Wild Roses
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Levels of Grass Seating
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Sunset on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Historical NY Central Railroad Car
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Grassy Park for Recreation
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Inspiration and Open Space for Exercise
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Sunset on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Pristine Benches and Walkways
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Jogging at Edge of the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Leafy Landscape Along the Walkways
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Kayaking on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Large-Scale Art in Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Silhouetted Swimming Geese
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Dusk on 79th Street Boat Basin
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Evening Lights on the Hudson
Riverside Park South
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net