Venture to the Other Side, George Washington Southwalk

George Washington Southwalk
The George Washington Bridge Photo by Edwin Escolero

FORT LEE – New Jersey, housing a rocky cliff that is at the right side by the pavement that trembles. The roaring automotives on the left separated by a metallic railing echo through the air. Onward toward the horizon steel wires support the ground that soles walk on.

Clear blue skies overlook the buildings across the crystal aqua. On the guard rail looking to the right to the cliff by the entrance, below gentle waves crash at a sandy shore. Looking like a model replica of a beach the shore below dwarfed by the height.

Vans, trucks, pickup trucks, and cars of all marks converge on the suspended highway, howling vroom as they cut through the aero. Cyclists zip through the narrow two lane path as they follow the jet stream as they take in the sites across the glittery river below. Parents walking with their child bundled up for the windy elevation.

Walkers stop to snap shots of the neighboring city and the iron gate that they stand on. The towering structure akin to a rectangular zero with three sides each with x-like supports from left to right, and the vertical sides. Vehicles pass through the tower’s opening arc to enter another gate yards ahead.

The sun hit’s the metal structure which exudes the light turquoise coat. Standing against strong winds, away from the light source the bridge is shaded in a periwinkle color.

The gray rail aged through the past season stands against the test of time. The stretch of the path is long as it is high in ascent from the Hudson. Venturing further will take trekkers to a greenery situated near a park once entering the city.

Upon returning to the starting point that is a fenced gate passersby spot a sign welcoming cyclists and walkers, and indicate that one is entering the George Washington Southwalk.

A part of the history that unites the states across the Hudson is found through the George Washington bridge. In 1776 during the American Revolutionary War Washington’s forces were at the two points that the now built bridge leads to today.

The bridge architect, Gustav Lindenthal also known for the Hell Gate Bridge was to design the then “Hudson bridge,” but his plans were impractical due to many embellishments that would require a large sum to fund. Lindenthal’s apprentice, Othmar Ammann would undertake the design when his requisites were not met.

Planned by Othmar Ammann and Cass Gilbert, the bridge construction project would commence on October 1927. The upper level would be completed on October 24th  of 1931 and the lower level on August 29, 1962.

The project included a stone casing that would adorn the steel skeleton. However, The Great Depression hit which lead to the abandonment of the casing plan. Yet, people who visit the bridge appreciates the bare structure as an aesthetic distinction.

On October 24th of 1981 the American Society of Civil Engineers would deem the George Washington bridge a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Totaling 4,760 ft in length, a width of 119 ft , and 604 ft in height it was known to be the biggest bridge at the time but the Golden Gate bridge now holds that claim.

Research conducted by Modern Marvels indicates that in 2003 “105,942,000 vehicles crossed the George Washington bridge.” The name of the bridge was decided after a unanimous vote by school children in 1930.

The bridge is a testament to hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity through the student taking the role of designing the bridge. Challenges of The Great Depression presented a divergent path that yielded a positive outcome through the unique exterior.

Those who want to explore the city while taking in the scenery should cross the bridge to be treated to an aerial-like view it’ll be like they’re flying. Fitness enthusiasts, jogger, and cyclists will face the challenge that crossing the bridge gives them as they venture to the other side.

Breezy Weekend at Weehawken Waterfront

Waterfront
Weehawken Waterfront Park & Recreation Center Photo by Edwin Escolero

WEEHAWKEN – New Jersey, a port overlooks the neighboring city across the crashing waves of the turquoise river. A golden light is reflected from the glossy windows of the grand buildings. The sun’s ray shines off the water as it splashes on the little gray boulders that are set like rows of a checker board which separates land from water. Dancing with the wind on top of the rocks are a row of tall golden brown rice plants, the oryza grass of the plantae family.

 

A metal black rail adorned with a wooden surface frames the horizon ahead the Hudson. The still light post glazed in a smooth black coat absorbs the light. Sitting on the wooden bench varnished in marble gray paint visitors remain in awe at the sight ahead. Buildings tower ahead, and blue skies streaked by white clouds.

Swimming in formation are geese with light olive green wings, a black neck, and touch of white plumage. Birds chime their seasonal hymen on top of trees that are ready to bloom once again. Hares burrow underground for rest as guests enter the park.

Children are giggling as they run on the pirate-shaped playground as parents watch with a smile. Tykes play on the grass near the red hull of the ship. Friends climbing the nautical styled rope ladder to reach the deck. Running onboard the kids laugh and descend from the plank themed slides to the grass.

Dogs walking side-by-side with their best friend on emerald green grass.

Youths and adults stretch before working out at the outdoor gym, standing on the baby blue rubber mat. A handful perform sit ups, others push ups, and some take pause as they observe the ongoing game in the neighboring field.

Little leaguers among friends swing their bats as they vie for glory on the sunny Saturday morning. At the side of the concession stand close to the nearby field oncoming drivers look for a spot to park their cars and the game goes on.

Across the street from the round of baseball are tracks for a light rail that occasionally passes through Nature’s gray-brown backdrop, a rocky hill that ascends up. Houses situated on top of the hill overlook the recreation below.

The passing train sounds its whistle as it makes its way to the next destination just forward. On the road cars pass in the street between the rail tracks and the field.

At the park, on the salmon tiled pavement people jog with a calm pace and cyclists grazed by the wind ride by the guard rail. Surrounded by a couple of young trees which face the river, athletes and visitors sprint around the padded eight lane track. While youths have a round at kicking the ball on the oval green rug as friends and family cheer them on, on the benches.

Curious explorers walk at the side of the guard rail facing the shimmering aqua which leads them to a boardwalk. Breathing in the salt air of the Hudson trekkers get a taste of natural fragrance of the marine.

Circling back on the side walk by the road a bridge is seen across from the left with motorists heading straight and some turning right to the entrance of the park. Parking at the lot close to the recreation center guests with their kids scamper toward the track.

As the day goes on new visitors enter the park and some are packing up their cars with bikes, strollers, and other supplies. Those who enter the parking lot through the left and exit from there spot two sets of lumber posts that hold a midnight teal sign which reads: Welcome to The Township of Weehawken Waterfront Park & Center.

Visitors will appreciate the Waterfront Park’s view of the city and the effort that has been put into preserving the natural beauty of the greenery. A leisure walk with pets in the clean air will get you winding down along with your companions. Those looking for a training ground will take up the challenge that the outdoor gym provides and the length of the track. The recreation center holds local matches that sport aficionados will enjoy.

If you’re just looking for a tranquil scenery to pass through on walks then think of Waterfront. The cool Hudson breeze relaxes the body after a day of activity and the beautiful city sights and blooming plants soothe the soul.