Teaneck Creek Conservancy in the Palisades

In the town of Teaneck, NJ lies a nice level hike inside the Teaneck Creek Conservancy. The trails are mostly well maintained (some are very thin, but most are wide and there are a lot of wooden planked ones). There is still a lot of cleanup being done on the conservancy due to vandalism and dumping. They accept donations here. There is a lot of local artwork in the park, as well as educational tools including a breakdown of the types of plants and animals found there. There are several entrances to the trails and it is super easy to access by public transit from NYC. It is a very shady trail which is excellent on hot sunny days like the one we went on. While this site says the trail is 1.2 miles, if you do all of the trails it is closer to 5 miles.

The entrance into the conservancy trails.

The entrance into the conservancy trails.

Investigating the butterfly garden (sadly there were no butterflies at this time of year).

Investigating the butterfly garden (sadly there were no butterflies at this time of year).

Looking out at the southern marshland.

Looking out at the southern marshland.

One of the sturdy wooden bridges. There are a lot of these throughout.

One of the sturdy wooden bridges. There are a lot of these throughout.

A very festive looking seat.

A very festive looking seat.

Looking up at the top of the teepee seat.

Looking up at the top of the teepee seat.

The Labyrinth (not remotely what I was expecting).

The Labyrinth (not remotely what I was expecting).

One of the thinner paths.

One of the thinner paths.

A bridge out to the surrounding industrial area (making the conservancy a fantastic place to take a lunch break).

A bridge out to the surrounding industrial area (making the conservancy a fantastic place to take a lunch break).

This reminded me of the trails around Stony Brook, NY.

This reminded me of the trails around Stony Brook, NY.

This bridge had bannisters.

This bridge had bannisters.

A great big Weeping Willow.

A great big Weeping Willow.

Cloudy water reveals fish.

Cloudy water reveals fish.

Very cloudy water.

Very cloudy water.

A lovely lunch area.

A lovely lunch area.

The tree wanted to make a bridge.

The tree wanted to make a bridge.

The north entrance - filled with lots of historical tidbits.

The north entrance – filled with lots of historical tidbits.

Historical info outside the entrance.

Historical info outside the entrance.

Details on what they hope to do with the conservancy.

Details on what they hope to do with the conservancy.

This tree has formed a bridge.

This tree has formed a bridge over a very dry creek bed.

Sadly no dogs are allowed in the conservancy - although it's a nice flat one that dogs would enjoy.

Look! Dogs are allowed in the conservancy – it’s a nice flat one that dogs would enjoy.

The sun shines off the creek bed.

The sun shines off the creek bed.

A picnic area.

A picnic area.

One of the few paths out in the open.

One of the few paths out in the open.

The sun shines on a bridge.

The sun shines on a bridge.

Vines envelop the tree.

Vines envelop the tree.

Someone wants to stand out.

Someone wants to stand out.

Nature begins to claim the bridge.

Nature begins to claim the bridge.

Very intense sunlight.

Very intense sunlight.

Out of the sunlight and into the shade.

Out of the sunlight and into the shade.

I like how they made this plaque a reflection of itself.

I like how they made this plaque a reflection of itself.

Next week: The various artwork found at the Teaneck Creek Conservancy.

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Elizabeth Street Garden

Hidden away in Little Italy, lies a garden on the side of an antique store. It is called Elizabeth Street Garden. In it lie various sculptures and flowers. It is used for summer movie showings as well as meeting places for people. Even a quiet place to sit and read. Sadly, the city is trying to get rid of it and put in affordable housing. Take a look at what a unique place this is and why it should be saved.

The entrance from the street.

The entrance from the street.

Some of the pieces.

Some of the pieces.

Don't run between them, they may try to destroy you (gateway to the Southern Oracle).

Don’t run between them, they may try to destroy you (gateway to the Southern Oracle).

A prowling lion.

A prowling lion.

A growling lion.

A growling lion.

Top of a steeple.

Top of a steeple.

An old piece for gardens.

An old piece for gardens.

Walking down the main path.

Walking down the main path.

A cat of sorts.

A cat of sorts.

Garden tools and a door.

Garden tools and a door.

Balcony on the garden.

Balcony on the garden.

Look at the bright colors.

Look at the bright colors.

More bright colors.

More bright colors.

Follow the insects to the flowers.

Follow the insects to the flowers.

Architecture in the garden.

Architecture in the garden.

A religious piece.

A religious piece.

Standing in the flora.

Standing in the flora.

Looking upward.

Looking upward.

A gazebo.

A gazebo.

Spooky table.

Spooky table.

The sun sets.

The sun sets.

Dionysian sculpture.

Dionysian sculpture.

Looking at the seating area for the film.

Looking at the seating area for the film.

Look inside the antique store.

Look inside the antique store.

A gargoyle.

A gargoyle.

Gargoyle through the fence.

Gargoyle through the fence.

Free standing pillars.

Free standing pillars.

Mischievous cherubs.

Mischievous cherubs.

Benches in the garden.

Benches in the garden.

Wind chimes add to the atmosphere.

Wind chimes add to the atmosphere.

Next week: A walk through Teaneck Creek.

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Castle Williams on Governor’s Island

At the Northwest corner of Governor’s Island sits Castle Williams. It was a fort and is a landmark in NY Harbor. It was set up as a prison in the early 1900s, filled with various cells. The courtyard feels like a prison, with cannons on the tops of the walls.

Cannon on the roof.

Cannon on the roof.

Different heights.

Different heights.

The main entrance.

The main entrance.

Walking through the entrance.

Walking through the entrance.

Inside the courtyard.

Inside the courtyard.

More of the courtyard.

More of the courtyard.

Prison cell.

Prison cell.

Inside a cell.

Inside a cell.

The stairs inside.

The stairs inside.

Through the prison gates.

Through the prison gates.

The whole cell/barracks.

The whole cell/barracks.

Benches inside the cell.

Benches inside the cell.

Outer staircase.

Outer staircase.

Next week: Elizabeth St Garden.

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Fort Jay on Governor’s Island

In the middle of the northern section of Governor’s Island sits Fort Jay. It is a star shaped fort, that sits inside and atop a hill. You cross a bridge into a cobblestoned courtyard and can climb up to various parts of the outer wall to see NY Bay at the same view of cannoneers. Take a look.

The drop before the walls.

The drop before the walls.

Stairs out of the low lands.

Stairs out of the low lands.

It's a deep trench around the walls.

It’s a deep trench around the walls.

The main entrance (under repair).

The main entrance (under repair).

The walls are cut into the hillside.

The walls are cut into the hillside.

The courtyard.

The courtyard.

A side alley.

A side alley.

More of the courtyard.

More of the courtyard.

A wall doorway.

A wall doorway.

Spooky under the porch walkway.

Spooky under the porch walkway.

Flag on the ramparts.

Flag on the ramparts.

These devices would turn cannons.

These devices would turn cannons.

Different levels.

Different levels outside the walls.

A closer look at the cannon turners.

A closer look at the cannon turners.

The walk from the wall back down through the alley.

The walk from the wall back down through the alley.

The back entrance.

The back entrance.

The back trench.

The back trench.

Stairs out of the trench

Stairs out of the trench

A walkway carved into the hill.

A walkway carved into the hill.

Looking along the back.

Looking along the back.

The cannon overlooking the bay.

The cannon overlooking the bay.

Demonstration of a firing cannon.

Demonstration of a firing cannon.

Next week: the prison/castle on Governor’s Island.

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A Very Hot Trip to Governor’s Island

Located south of Manhattan, lies Governor’s Island –  a tiny island that was used as a military installation during the Revolutionary War, then an army outpost, then a Coast Guard installation. There are two forts located on the island which we will explore in later weeks (both of which are National Monuments). There are houses throughout the island, several churches, a synagogue, and various parks. The island is accessible by a ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan, as well as from Brooklyn. Here is a quick overview of the north end of the island, as I didn’t explore the southern side due to my schedule.

The dock for the ferry from Manhattan.

The dock for the ferry from Manhattan.

Looking at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Looking at the Brooklyn Bridge.

This marks the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel passing by the island.

This marks the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel passing by the island.

A small boat docked nearby.

A small boat docked nearby.

House raised up from the road.

House raised up from the road.

The grass has claimed a lot of the man made pavements and walkways.

The grass has claimed a lot of the man made pavements and walkways.

The entrance of the synagogue.

The entrance of the synagogue.

Ok, that cannon didn't work as planned.

Ok, that cannon didn’t work as planned.

St. Cornelius Chapel.

St. Cornelius Chapel.

This looks like the school I went to.

This looks like the school I went to.

It was a beautifully sunny day.

It was a beautifully sunny day.

Another church, this one looks like it's from southern US.

Another church, this one looks like it’s from southern US.

A very interesting bench.

A very interesting bench.

A very large house.

A very large house.

Looking up at the fort.

Looking up at a fence by the fort.

A stately manor.

A stately manor.

A view of the Statue of Liberty.

A view of the Statue of Liberty.

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

Entry way to the school.

Entry way to the school.

A garden in front of the school.

A garden in front of the school.

The covered walk.

The covered walk.

The barracks.

The barracks.

The library is not open.

The library is not open.

Time to leave.

Time to leave.

The full dock view.

The full dock view.

Next week: a closer look at the main fort on the island.

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Being Let in to Marble Cemetery

There are several small cemeteries throughout NYC. Most are closed to the public, but on some occasions, you can enter during an event or public opening. Such was the case with the New York Marble Cemetery, which opens its gates to the public one day each month from April to October. It is located in the East Village and is also known as the Second Ave Cemetery. It is the oldest non-sectarian cemetery in NYC. It was a bright sunny day, and I got there early to avoid crowds (or people of any sort).

Not quite open yet.

Not quite open yet.

The bees are having breakfast.

The bees are having breakfast.

The signs on the side of the gate tells the story.

The signs on the side of the gate tells the story.

Here is the full history lesson.

Here is the full history lesson.

They have chairs out for visitors.

They have chairs out for visitors.

The centerpiece of the cemetery.

The centerpiece of the cemetery.

I love the walls surrounding the cemetery.

I love the walls surrounding the cemetery.

Stone set up.

Stone set up.

An obelisk surrounded by squirrels and shade.

An obelisk surrounded by squirrels and shade.

Hiding in the ivy.

Hiding in the ivy.

There are a lot of these types of markers.

There are a lot of these types of markers.

A bush growing grave stone.

A bush growing grave stone.

Some markers on the walls as well.

Some markers on the walls as well.

The obelisk in the bush.

The obelisk in the bush.

A view of one side.

A view of one side.

Back to the centerpiece.

Back to the centerpiece.

A very old stone.

A very old stone.

Looking across the expanse.

Looking across the expanse.

A small obelisk and some yard tools.

A small obelisk and some yard tools.

The stone by the tree.

The stone by the tree.

Obelisks are popular in this cemetery.

Obelisks are popular in this cemetery.

My favorite of the stone designs.

My favorite of the stone designs.

What was under the walls.

What was under the walls.

Someone broke a marker.

Someone broke a marker.

Markers along the wall.

Markers along the wall.

Interesting small trees grow here.

Interesting small trees grow here.

Someone has left rocks in a traditional sense.

Someone has left rocks in a traditional sense.

Looking out from one end of the cemetery.

Looking out from one end of the cemetery.

I like the shadow play as the sun climbs higher.

I like the shadow play as the sun climbs higher.

Back out the gate we go.

Back out the gate we go.

Next week: I go to Governor’s Island for the first time ever.

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Animal Encounters in the Marshland Conservancy

As posted last week, I went on a hike in the Marshlands Conservancy in Rye, NY. This is not a pet friendly hike, as there are lots of wild animals who live in the conservancy and you can come across them at any time. Here are the ones I encountered.

Walk down a path, a wild turkey steps out in front of you.

Walk down a path, a wild turkey steps out in front of you.

It mostly ignored us.

It mostly ignored us…

...which was surprising since it wasn't alone.

…which was surprising since it wasn’t alone.

Momma and babies.

Momma and babies.

Someone left a horseshoe crab shell on a bench.

Someone left a horseshoe crab shell on a bench.

Osprey nest, although we did not see any osprey.

Osprey nest, although we did not see any osprey.

I almost stepped on this crab by accident. It's so tiny!

I almost stepped on this crab by accident. It’s so tiny!

We were walking up a path, when my hiking partner shushed me and noticed this.

We were walking up a path, when my hiking partner shushed me and noticed this.

This doe had no fear of us.

This doe had no fear of us.

She's eating.

She’s eating.

Staring at us. Then back to eating.

Staring at us. Then back to eating.

As I rounded a corner, I came face to face with this guy.

As I rounded a corner, I came face to face with this guy.

He stands to greet us.

He stands to greet us.

Licking his chops. Are we going to be eaten?

Licking his chops. Are we going to be eaten?

Staring right at us.

Staring right at us.

Deer profile.

Deer profile.

He leads us out of the woods to the street/parking lot. A very magical experience.

He leads us out of the woods to the street/parking lot. A very magical experience.

Turtles in the water.

Turtles in the water.

This guy was massive.

This guy was massive.

Next week: I get to take a walk inside Marble Cemetery.

 

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