30 October 2015

Autumn Twilight In New York

Is the spectacle of day turning into evening the most autumnal part of the day?  Or is Fall the twilight of the seasons?

During my short but exhilirating late-day ride today, the time of day seemed to mirror, perfectly, the time of year.  Day was turning to dusk; leaves were falling and spreading a shawl of deepening hues across the aging, wizening ground just as the setting sun cast its glow across the deepening cold of the river and sky.

Some have said that cycling sharpens our awareness of our surroundings.  I agree that it does, in part because it opens our internal vistas in much the same way skies and trees open before us.

On my way back, I stopped in Queensbridge Park.  The bike path along Vernon Boulevard, which wends its way along the Queens side of the East River, detours into the park and brings cyclists, runners, skateboarders and dog-walkers within the shadow of the bridge for which the park is named.  The park is named for the bridge.  But, while people use the name in reference to the park (and a nearby housing project and subway station that share the name), they never use it to refer to the bridge, which is more widely known as the Queensborough or 59th Street Bridge.

Anyway, the park--about two kilometers from my apartment--is wonderful and interesting in all sorts of ways. One, of course, is the views of the river, harbor, skyline and, of course the bridge--especially when the lights are turned on.  Another is the way that it seems to stand, almost defiantly, against its surroundings.  

As I mentioned, there is the housing project across Vernon Boulevard from its eastern side.  There are also small factories and warehouses.  The bridge looms over park's southern side. But to the north is a Con Ed power plant:

During the summer, the leaves on the trees at least partially obscure those smokestacks, depending on the spot from which you're viewing.  Now, of course, the trees offer no such cover.  However, they seem to be as inseparable in this autumnal vista as this season and time of day.

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