And here's the full image. We rode down Vanderbilt Avenue from our bed-and-breakfast, down along the old navy shipyards, along cobblestone streets, and finally onto this boardwalk and under the Brooklyn Bridge.
It's quite the view of lower Manhattan.
And at the far left, there's Lady Liberty, presiding over the harbor.
We've been up on the Esplanade in earlier visits, which is really beautiful, but you don't get the same connection with the water and the city beyond as you do in the new park. They've done a wonderful job; rolling berms separate the park from views and noise of Brooklyn, and there are thick plantings of native shrubs, lots of grass, and while there are some nice kiosks for food and ice cream, it's not at all commercial. There are low-key, low-intensity spots for sitting, for families to cook a barbeque, recreational areas including some huge lovely playing fields and a rocky park with fountains and waterfalls for kids to play in, and this end of a pier, fitted out with stainless steel sinks and bait-prep areas for fishermen.
"What are you catching?" I asked. "Striped bass," this fellow told me. He was from Puerto Rico, and a veteran fisherman. "Des catchin blues ovah deyh," he said, pointing toward Governor's Island. "And deyah too," indicating the tip of lower Manhattan. "Bluefish?" I said. He nodded, grinned, and shook his head. "Not heah! Dunno why." I asked him what they used for bait and he explained and showed me: a big fish that they cut up into pieces. Each of the fishermen had four rods, which they bait, cast, and then set against the railing, waiting. Seemed like a contented way to spend a hot day, down by the water in the breeze.
Then we rode back up into the city of Brooklyn, and stopped for lunch. The service was very slow - a new chef had come on that day, they said, so I had time to sketch the people at the next table on the butcher-paper that covered ours.
We were really hot by that time, and unfortunately a little sunburned, so we went back to the B&B. I took a shower and then went out to explore the neighborhood and visit The Community Bookstore, which TC and friends has shown me on a previous visit.
I also found a fabric store with a beautiful selection of Indian cottons, including the piece above. Couldn't resist. And at the bookstore I bought, appropriately enough, the latest issue of Granta, titled "Travel," in which there's an excerpt from Teju's forthcoming book on Lagos. Smaller and larger, both, our world.