Abandoned buildings, an old “watch” tower with amazing views of the city & the ocean continued to haunt my thoughts. What was out there? I usually play by the rules, but as I get older it seems these rules need to be broken; curiosity got the best of me.
Having discovered the Rockaway Artist Alliance on my last trip, I submitted work to one of their upcoming shows. To my delight they accepted 4 pieces into Artspash, a month-long show in the studios at Fort Tilden. As a participant, we were asked to spend time at the show to answer questions for the spectators.
A Sunday afternoon in early September, I volunteered my time. At 4:30pm it was time take that hike into the unknown. The sunlight and shadows were amazing and I was feeling brave.
I know that sounds a bit ridiculous me living in the city. Walking the streets of Manhattan even at 4:00am is much different from walking into the woods where everything is silent.
Here are the justified reasons why I had a touch of fear in my belly. My cellphone reception was minimal. I was walking alone with my camera in unfamiliar territory that was off-limits (meaning no one would be patrolling here). I didn’t have a map and I didn’t tell anyone where I was heading. There were abandoned buildings along this road and the trail took me in about a mile from civilization. Other than that, everything was just fine.
Capturing a great image was the driving force so I climbed over the fence into the forbidden territory. As I walked I began to relax taking everything in around me. The shadows and shimmers from the sunlight were giving me so many photographic opportunities, it was incredible.
A fork in the road and a building. What to do. I was in search of the tower and would revisit this building on my way out.
Birds flew over head, the sun was beginning to dip in the west. Passing another abandoned building I noticed it was covered in graffiti. This would be another great shot on the way back.
A bit further and a clearing came into view. Then I saw this massive, strange cement structure. I was looking for an open ranger/fire tower, one like I remember from childhood. No wonder I couldn’t see this in the distance. This tower was built into a hill with vegetation giving it cover. During wartime, this was a gun battery known as Battery Harris.
I had arrived. It was time to climb to the top.
Until next time.
adventure is life, live it! ®