NYC –> Shanghai, 30 days: The Road Less Traveled

August 11th, 2013. 30 days.

Hudson River Park to Chelsea Piers — was the road never traveled until last week! In the last two mini blogs, I wrote about a couple of unexpected encounters I had as a result of a less than productive trip to the Chinese consulate to get my Visa for the Fulbright. Today I want to take you down the awesome journey I took along the Hudson River that day. First, it’s important to know – if you haven’t already gathered by reading this mini-blog series – that I live in the East Village. The Chinese consulate is VERY far. So needless to say, given this dwindling countdown to my impending move to China (despite the bureaucratic setback last week), I was quite upset I had “wasted” all of that time. However, I had heard rumors of this great park along the Hudson, so I decided to make some lemonade. And lemonade I made. Here are some of the gems I came across:

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Cool separated bike trail alongside a ped trial next to the ridiculous view below!






2013-08-05 13.33.56Makes me wish I had a better handle on biking (yup, my deepest, darkest secret as an urban designer – I only learned to ride a bike last summer and have only been successful at it the time I learned). A view like this is an awesome motivator!


2013-08-05 13.41.50Then I came across this scene — Look closely. The elderly guy is clearly marching to the beat of his own drum – who says you have to sit a certain way on a bench! What a fun urban design/NYC moment!






2013-08-05 14.45.33And speaking of NYC moments, who says you need a beach to get a tan. If there’s sun and grass, New Yorkers will lay out. On this particular piece of grass, not only do you get that view I showed you earlier, you get a view of the Empire State to boot!


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And then I got hungry and happened across this eatery on the Pier. I had a lovely lunch on the pier – exactly what the doctor ordered!





2013-08-05 16.25.39Finally, near the end of my journey, I saw this sign. Why yes, I think I will relax! It’s funny, I’ve been in two small towns in Iowa over the past few days evaluating their Green Pilot program (using State of Place! along with other cool urban design and behavior research tools) and folks here keep telling me how much they love the small town pace – how much it puts them at east. For me, I get that feeling from the infectious energy of urbanity and all of the good (and bad) that comes with it. I know I’ll have that same connection with Shanghai…I already do!



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