Category Archives: Rock Faces

A Walk Across High Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx

On July 4th, Alice, Zach and I took a trip up to Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, on the upper end of Manhattan, and walked across High Bridge.  I had driven under it many times, wondered about it, marveled at it, and read about it, and when it was reopened in June of this year after being closed for over forty years, I was determined to walk across it.  (More on why it was closed later).  Oh yes, click on pictures to enlarge them!

The bridge1The High Bridge, so named because it really is very tall, was originally built to bring water from the Croton Reservoir across the Harlem River and into Manhattan.  It was designed to resemble a Roman aqueduct and no doubt caused feelings of great pride in the New Yorkers of the time.  It was beautiful.

highbridge-rev2Above is a picture from the Bronx side of what High Bridge looked like when it was first built.  In 1928, four spans on your left were replaced by a single steel arch in order to make the Harlem River easier to navigate.

This is a picture of New Yorkers enjoying themselves walking across the span back in the the 19th Century, when this was a favorite excursion.

Highbridge1869rev-323x380This is a picture of some visitors yesterday.

Alice and meO tempora, o mores!

But yes, that would be me and Alice.  And here is Zach and Alice.

Alice and ZachAnd here is a view of the entire bridge, looking from the Bronx side to Manhattan.

The Bridge2You will remember that the bridge was closed for over forty years.  I will show you a picture and ask you to try to figure out why it was closed.

North and fenceNo, the answer is not because that is the ugliest view in America!  Although looking at the Cross Bronx Expressway, the Deegan Expressway, and the railroad tracks is not easy on the eyes.  The reason is illustrated by the fence that was put up to stop “people” from throwing things over the side onto cars, trains, and boats that passed beneath.  I know, I know.  Why the…. Never mind.  Deep breath.

We left the bridge and walked through HighBridge Park on the way home.  The Park at one time had a huge Reservoir.  It now has a nice size swimming pool.  It also has trails on which one can forget that there are people in the world who throw things off bridges.

ThistelThere are also mulberry trees where we stopped and ate a few, as we do every year, at least once a summer, just to prove we know they really are edible and will not kill us!  The park also has beautiful rocks, although (and Alice says I am being paranoid) one rock definitely gave me a Bronx cheer.

Bronx cheerThis rose was not in the park, but was so beautiful, it had to be part of the remembrance of the day.

RoseAnd, since it was a walk on July 4th, it would not be right to leave out one of the nicest sights of all.

Flag and cloudsHappy fourth of July!


Happy Spring!

Spring is finally here!  The ground is starting to warm up.  The rock faces, who have been sleeping away the winter are awakening. Some seem a little grumpy.

Rock FaceBut most people seem to be enjoying themselves, pouring into the park for various purposes, nearly oblivious to the beauty exploding around them.

English ElmThe dancing ladies who enlivened my trips to the Park during the winter snows have put on their very best finery and are dancing more gracefully than ever.

Dancing treesLike Orpheus, they can make the rocks smile…

Rock face 2And even laugh.

Rock face 3The magnolias and cherry trees compete with each other, it seems, and compete as well with the new buds of other trees, each of which has its own pastel to add.

Three treesWillow treeBow BridgeAltogether a very nice beginning.  Happy Spring!