East River Esplanade Park, Part 2

You may have noticed in my photos of the East River Esplanade Park entrance at 37th Street that it was dimly lit. That’s because there were no lights under this overpass. It wasn’t scary or anything — there was enough sunlight coming in to illuminate your way, and no one hung out or even slept in here, at least not during the weeks I’ve been passing through, although it would probably make a good place to sleep if you had to sleep outside. Perhaps. Only twice did I see anyone else here (well, three times, but that’s what I’m leading up to): the woman on the bike that I posted here, and two other people waiting to cross the street with me. I almost started talking to them, about how unusual it was for all of us to be waiting at this spot for the walk light.

In fact, it’s unusual to see anyone past 34th Street. The walkway narrows, as the right side is fenced off and there is construction equipment and workers behind it, and the pavement is so broken that parts of it are just gravel. The FDR is only beginning to be elevated at this point so clearance is lower and it probably feels claustrophobic and dangerous to people. Also, 37th Street is the last exit to the other side of the FDR, so it’s an out-of-the-way route for most people, who seem to prefer the 34th Street exit.

Anyway… one week ago this very day, two workers were standing over in the corner as I passed through. I didn’t ponder for very long what they were doing there. I didn’t see any equipment, just two guys with hard hats in the corner. (I thought about taking a picture of them.) So you can imagine my surprise when I passed through the next morning and saw a light installed! If I had known this was what they were doing, I would definitely have taken their picture! (Maybe.)

A few days later another light was there, in the corner to the left of this one (not the empty fixture in this picture — further to the left). Two lights now blaze in this underpass where few pass. But maybe people will start going there now. I’m sure the construction going on behind the fence is to fix the pavement on the one side and the park on the other.

I, however, will no longer witness this progress on a daily basis, as I will not be walking to work this way any more. Tomorrow, I start working on West 30th Street. Yes, it’s true: no more stunning Manhattan vistas. Now I will have to pass down crowded sidewalks taking pictures of… people?


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