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Posts Tagged ‘fort tilden’

Fort Tilden Part Five: The Amazing History-Missiles in Queens?

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer on April 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Fort Tilden has so much history.  And it has been recounted in detail by experts and real life heroes.

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So I give you these links and tell you it is worth your time.  It is fascinating.  You will have a greater appreciation for The Rockaways.  Trust me.

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

 

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Fort Tilden Part Four: The Return to Civilization

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on April 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm

As I walked back to my starting point, all I could hear was gravel crunching under my feet. It was completely quiet.  I stopped to reload film one more time so I was ready to shoot the 2 buildings passed on the way to the tower.

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The first was hidden in vines and brush.  Somehow the graffiti artists were able to get deep inside this broken down structure.  I wonder how long ago….
(These buildings were used for magazines when originally constructed.)

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The second was a little more accessible,  just needed to navigate overgrowth, rocks and branches.092913 Fort Tilden Rocka381_1

When I poked my head into the empty space I was transformed by what I saw.

Overhead the roof was all but gone.  Underfoot the floor was dirt and weeds.  And the block walls were covered with graffiti.  It was beautiful.  Man and nature were collaborating in a true work of art.

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

 

Fort Tilden Part Three: Views from the Tower

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on April 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm

When I encounter something never seen before, I become a little unsettled.  I think that is true for most people.  Questions that came to mind quickly were: what the heck was this thing and what hid behind its walls?  (see prior post.)  Further research shows this is actually Battery Harris, a gun battery used during the war/s.

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As I approached the stairs, a man was climbing down from the tower, so I stepped aside to let him pass.  I wanted this space all to myself.

WOW.  Incredible.  To the East was Long Island.  To the South the Atlantic.  To the West New York Harbor and New Jersey.  To the North Coney Island and Manhattan.  And directly below, 173 feet below, dunes and natural vegetation.

I stayed up here for about 30 minutes.  A cruise ship was leaving the harbor.  Tankers were waiting at anchorage.  Pleasure boats were cruising in and out of Jamaica Bay.  And I had this place all to myself.

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At some point a father and son started the journey up the steps and I used this as my cue to head out.  Plus I needed to get those other shots before the sun finally set.  And my bravery was starting to waver just a bit…

THIS IS NEW YORK CITY.  crazy!

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

 

Fort Tilden Part Two: The Mile Hike on the Forbidden Road

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on April 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

092913 Fort Tilden Rocka310_1Abandoned 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.

092913 Fort Tilden Rocka292I 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.

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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.


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I had arrived.  It was time to climb to the top.

 

 

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

 

Fort Tilden Part One: The Public Space

In historic places, NYC History, NYC Today on April 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

 

As I walked around the grounds of Fort Tilden that were “open” to the public a few things circled in my mind.  This space is so vast; what went on here and why all these randomly placed buildings?

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Some were made of wood, some of brick.  Some were in use, some appeared to be empty for decades.  Every once in a while a parks department vehicle would drive by.

 

073113_iphone 5_4161 copyA chapel stood in the center of it all; eerie shapes appeared through the windows as if they were ghosts.  At the entrance was a very peculiar sign:

 

 

 

 

 

At this point I really had no idea what I stumbled upon as children were playing soccer and softball in the open fields.  In the distance day campers were doing something with paint.  And across the road from where they played were people working in the community garden ensuring those large sunflowers would grow to their full height.

073113_iphone 5_4060 copyWhen the ranger drove by again, I stopped him and began asking my questions.

  •  Did the chapel ever open?  No, in fact it had been closed for years due to asbestos.
  • Why is the beach closed; will it open again soon?  It would not open for a while due to the artillery that washed ashore from Hurricane Sandy.
  • What was that amazing old metal building in the distance?  He told me it was an old artillery building and that most of the current destruction came from Sandy.

When I asked him if I could walk around, he told me only in the designated area’s.  Everything else was restricted.

Hmmmm….what was this place?

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Joyous sounds were coming from the children at camp, so I walked over to discover this program was run by the Rockaway Artist Alliance.  The RAA had 2 studio’s in these old military buildings; they worked with artists near and far.  The councilors told me that beyond the fence to the west, was an old “watch” tower used when Fort Tilden was a military base.  It was 173 feet high, with amazing views.  But it was “off-limits” according to the park.

I thanked them for their time and information and continued walking up to the beach where I witnessed the destruction from the storm.

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Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

Fort Tilden in Five Parts

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on April 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Today my post comes to you in 5 parts.  It continues the journey deeper into the Rockaways uncovering some hidden gems and forgotten spaces that have been abandoned by man and rescued by nature.  It also explores a section of beach that has been impacted by nature and has not yet been returned to man.

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Over the summer and into early fall of 2013, I returned to understand and document the impact Hurricane Sandy had to this area.  More and more I became intrigued by the history and the stories the locals shared.

I hope you enjoy the journey:

 

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

 

 

A Fall Art Show in The Rockaways

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on September 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

As mentioned in an earlier posting, I spent a good part of the summer exploring The Rockaways.

While roaming through Fort Tilden, I discovered the Rockaway Artists Alliance.

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This organization has 2 beautiful studios here, where they hold a variety of events throughout the year.

I was asked to participate in their exhibit “ArtSplash” with 4 of my fine art prints.  The show runs through October 13, 2013.

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Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®

How One Thing Leads to Another….

In historic places, NYC History, nyc photographer, NYC Today on September 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Act 1-It was summertime in the NorthEast.  Having grown up on the ocean where I learned how to swim about the same time I learned how to walk, there was a natural pull to the coast as soon as the weather turned warm.  Since a vacation was not in my future this year, being able to “get away” was going to be defined in a new way.

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Act 2-As an artist, the lines between working and relaxing continually blend together as work easily takes over more and more of the day.  To keep working without realizing that time off hasn’t been taken for days, weeks, even months becomes the norm.  Creating something unique and inspiring would (and still does) have all cylinders running-the down time could wait.  I needed to specifically plan time “off” to explore and recharge.

Act 3-Recent articles in the New York Times discussed how certain parts of the city were still having troubles rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.  I had never visited many of these areas and was curious to see these neighborhoods first hand.   A specific article regarding Broad Channel gave me pause; my curiosity was peaked and I needed to explore.

The Connection

With all of this turning over in my mind, I consulted google.  I looked for city beaches that would be less crazy; those that would remind me of what I experienced at the Jersey Shore many years ago with my grandparents.  I wanted something I could get to by METRO card, that would bring me to places hard hit by Sandy.

A beach located in Queens that is part of the National Parks System fit the bill.  July 17th I declared my first day of my “ONE DAY OFF A WEEK” project.  I packed my bag with reading material, snacks and water for the day.  And off I went by subway to Jacob Riis Park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area that includes The Rockaways, Staten Island, and Sandy Hook, NJ.

This first day traveling (about 2hrs) was to get familiar with the trip.  And to jump in the ocean and enjoy a bit of summer.  These beaches have waves that are great for body surfing (if you enjoy that sort of thing…)!

Since then, I have traveled to the Rockaway’s once a week on my “Day Off” to continue the exploration and discovery, getting there a variety of ways.  (Subway, Bus, Bike, Car)

One day I bicycled from Bay Ridge Brooklyn through Coney Island, over the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, into Breezy Point, (a closed community which I find very peculiar for a borough of NYC) and then on to the subway at 116th street (approx 25miles).

One day I explored Fort Tilden, a National Park where it’s beaches are currently closed due to Sandy.  Serious erosion along the shore makes this stretch of beach unsafe, and rumor has it that ammunition from WW2 washed ashore during the storm.  While there I explored the studios of the Rockaway Artist Alliance.  (More to come later regarding this organization.)

One day I took the subway to Broad Channel and biked across the Cross Bay Bridge into the Rockaways riding along the (broken) boardwalk out to Long Island.  On the way back I discovered Boardwalk Bagel at 108th street that makes the best crumb cake, the kind you can only find at the beach.  I ate it on my $2.00 ferry ride back to Wall Street.

These are just some of the hi-lights of what I discovered, and still so much more I haven’t.

There is over 7 miles of beach and boardwalk that opens to the Atlantic Ocean.  And then there is all of Jamaica Bay.  This is New York City.

The NYC Parks Department manages most of the area, and the balance is maintained by the National Parks Service. Filled with rich history, lots of natural wildlife, and miles and miles of area to explore, I am blown away that this is still NYC.  I can travel with $2.50 for the subway ride and a whole lot of curiosity.  This is why I love this town!

And the people of this community are working hard to rebuild after Sandy.  As I continue to visit this neighborhood weekly, I am discovering the strength of New York City.  These visits have also given me the basis for my next documentary project.  (Stay tuned…)

Until next time.

Teresa51art

adventure is life, live it! ®