15 March 2011

On The Horizon: Spring

Gatsby had his green light across the harbor.  For me, bridges on the horizon always seem to signal something. 

I hadn't been to this spot in months.  Today I took a little detour over that way on my way home from work.  It is odd, at least for a waterfront area in New York, in that it seems to open up every time I see it.  And the bridges are somehow clearer against every sunset.

I mean that literally as well as metaphorically.  The old Fort Totten Army base, which is near the foot of this bridge, has been turned into a park and its buildings are being given over to civilian--or other--purposes:

The bunkers in the background are very similar--and are in very similar condition--to the ones in Fort Tilden (at the other end of Queens, at Breezy Point) and Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, NJ.  As I understand, those bunkers were built during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and were little used after that.  

As much as I enjoy the beauty of the water and landscapes around all of those places, it is a little disconcerting to know that those places were all used for the purpose of conducting war.  I hope that they will never be used that way again, just as I hope la Place de la Concorde, where I have enjoyed a stroll or two, is never again used as it was in the days of Robespierre.

For now, the place has its past and I have my moment in it. 

Then there was the ride home, part of it along the paths in Fort Tilden, along Long Island Sound and underneath the bridges I saw in the distance, very close to where Gatsby saw his green light.


  1. Unlike Place de la Concorde, I don't think any of those forts were ever used for their intended purpose, which I think is doubly good since that purpose was to defend NYC against outside attack.

  2. I love the sign: "New Forest Coming Soon". Reminds me of a sign you would normally see in front of an open lot for a new restaurant or boutique going up and coming soon. To me it sounds odd even though I know what it means and it's a good thing. Nice sunset photo of the bridge too. Lovely ride.

  3. Steve: You're right. I'm no historian of that period. However, I'm reasonably certain that NY was never attacked during that time. I'm sure, though, that the Spanish rulers thought about striking here. They might have done so if they had the wherewithal. But, by that time, Spain was a shadow of what it was when it ruled most of Central and South America, not to mention a few other places.

    SM: I read the sign as you did. In fact, when I saw the shape of the sign but wasn't close enough to read it, I wondered what a sign like that was doing there. Like you, I was happy, and pleasantly surprised, to see it.