Not being sure what I wanted to shoot this past Saturday, I sat on the N train pondering as it headed towards Manhattan and it wasn’t until I was at 59th Street & Lexington Avenue that I made my decision to head South – to the Seaport.  I got off the N and transferred to the # 4 which took me to Fulton Street where I exited and walked down towards the East River. Walking along lower Manhattan’s narrow streets, icy cold winds were blowing off the river and I was having second thoughts about spending the day by the waterside.

Although around 14 degrees, there was no ice hanging from the rigging and masts of the port’s three most famous ships: The Wave Tree, The Peking and the light house ship Ambrose, which I was hoping for. There was a bit of snow here and there and the only ice was from the drainage pipes leading down from the FDR Drive above me. The bright side? It was a beautiful January day with only a few hardy tourists and I basically had the Seaport to my self.

The seaport has been a NYC historic go to destination for me since I was a young girl. My older sister Bridgett and her then boyfriend, now husband of 45 years Jack, would take my brother and I to the seaport on warm summer afternoons. The first time we went was back in the mid 1960’s and I still get excited when I see the masts swaying in the wind and listen to the aged ship’s bones creaking with the movement of the water.  The paint is peeling and the rust is growing redder and thicker around their bows and the sterns but, these maritime relics of the past can still excite the children of today just the same as they did in the past and I never tire of taking their “portraits.”

I walked along the river under the FDR; a great place to view and photograph the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and get some terrific grunge and rust too. Little stars of light danced on the water and seagulls flew into the scene at just the right moment and the sun kept me from freezing solid. I was having a good day and before I left the seaport I wandered up to Pier 6 to watch the helicopters filled with excited tourists, and capture them as they took off and landed from the heliport.



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9 thoughts on “A January Riparian Jaunt

  1. The seaport still has a certain charm for those who remember it from years back and these photos capture it memorably. The sun on the water creating sparkling little gems is enchanting and the beautiful sky is crisp and clear. The age and state of the ships is apparent but their dignity is intact and when very quiet, the ghosts of mariners quietly echo sounds long passed. All this is revealed in an exciting collection of images from a frosty, winter’s day. Striking!!!!


  2. Sometimes this happens to me…. I start off in one direction and change my mind or have no destination in mind at all until I realize I am already there!! It’s great to be able to travel around by public transportation… I love it! Beautiful photos as always and I checked out your SmugMug site…. I signed up but have yet to upload anything…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With the sun dancing off the skyscrapers contrasting to the shots of the maritime rustic, I want to call your slideshow “Diamonds and Rust,” Cate. I like the Seaport and what it means to you, a lot.


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