Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Pillars of Love

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — Manhattan's Financial District, centenarian wood pylons in the East River and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) from west of the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1 boat ramp, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Manhattan's Financial District, centenarian wood pylons in the East River and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) from west of the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1 boat ramp.

Near Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014


part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park album

Having discovered photographs and information prior to my trip, I knew that I wanted to stop by Brooklyn Bridge Park while in New York. An eighty-five acre parkland along the East River south and east of the Brooklyn Bridge, the site is a redevelopment of a once-industrial waterfront that dates to 1642.

After checking out two other areas close to the bridge, I made my way to Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1. Walking about halfway down the riverside pathway, I found excellent and unobstructed views of Manhattan's Financial District skyscrapers, the Brooklyn waterfront, two bridges and the river itself.

Photo Credit: David July — The Brooklyn Bridge (1883), Manhattan Bridge (1909) and Empire State Building (1931) beyond from the riverside path at Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Pier 1 has many features including two open lawns, a playground, small boat ramp and two concession stands that were closed for the season. With nine-and-a-half acres of scenic land, it is the largest of the park's six piers and the only one not pile-supported. Instead, the construction used clean landfill material to achieve a stable foundation for the architected topography.

The landscaped hills' subsurface was created from 40,000 cubic yards of matter excavated during the Long Island Railroad East Side Access MTA project extending LIRR service from Sunnyside Yard in Queens to a new eight track station and concourse 160 feet beneath Grand Central Terminal (1913).

Photo Credit: David July — The Brooklyn Bridge (1883) western tower, One Brooklyn Bridge Plaza (1975) and Manhattan Municipal Building (1914) from the riverside path at Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

There were few people or wildlife in the area, a fact that I attributed to the cold and overcast day. It was around nineteen degrees and unbeknownst to me, a brief snowstorm would start shortly. I did encounter one Branta bernicla hrota (Pale-bellied Brant Goose) sitting in the snow of the Bridge View Lawn.

Photo Credit: David July — A Pale-bellied Brant Goose (Branta bernicla hrota) sits in the snow covering the Bridge View Lawn at Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

From the southwest corner of Pier 1 there was a direct view of old wood pylons in the water, the park's Pier 2 — slated to open this spring — and the Brooklyn Heights residences disunited from the waterfront by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278) in the 1950s.

Photo Credit: David July — Centenarian wood pylons in the East River, Pier 2 and Brooklyn Heights residences along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (1954) from the southwest corner of Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Turning right toward the southwest, I watched two New York Water Taxi ferries navigating toward the Buttermilk Channel. Also visible was the northeastern end of Governors Island, structures at Governors Island National Monument and the Statue of Liberty (1886) beyond the confluence of the East and Hudson Rivers.

Photo Credit: David July — The Statue of Liberty (1886), two New York Water Taxi ferries and Governors Island from the southwest corner of Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Among the numerous Manhattan skyscrapers in the Financial District across the East River, I have always liked art deco and wedding-cake style 120 Wall Street (1930). Until the end of the 1960s, it stood alone as the only major high-rise building on the East River waterfront in downtown.

Photo Credit: David July — 55 Water Street (1972), One Financial Square (1987), 111 Wall Street (1966), 120 Wall Street (1930) and Continental Center (1983) along the East River in Manhattan's Financial District from the southwest corner of Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

In hindsight, I bet my enjoyment of 120 Wall Street first started due to its resemblance to the film-enhanced version of 55 Central Park West that appears in Ghostbusters (1984). I can remember as a child drawing focused non-terminal repeating phantasms on a coloring book page featuring 120 Wall Street.

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures — film-enhanced version of 55 Central Park West in 'Ghostbusers' (1984)

Continuing on a path east around the Harbor View Lawn and down the stairs, you can either take the Greenway running from Pier 1 to Pier 6 and part of the greater Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway or turn sharply right to stay on Pier 1 and approach the native plant salt marsh and boat ramp for unmotorized craft.

Photo Credit: David July — Walking down the stairs from the Harbor View Lawn to the path for the salt marsh and boat ramp at Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

As part of the park's sustainability initiative, granite salvaged from the old Willis Avenue Bridge (1901–2011) is placed around the salt marsh for seating and landscaping. The area is planted with Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass).

Photo Credit: David July — The Statue of Liberty (1886), Staten Island Ferry, centenarian wood pylons in the East River, smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and granite salvaged from the old Willis Avenue Bridge (1901–2011) at Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Cautiously proceeding down the snow and ice-covered boat ramp, I took several photographs of Manhattan through the hundreds of centenarian wooden pylons lined up in the East River. Artifacts from the dockside warehouse era past, these pylons were retained during the park's development for their historical significance and visual appeal. They possibly date from the early 1900s or may have been installed during pier construction from 1956 to 1964.

Photo Credit: David July — Manhattan's Financial District, centenarian wood pylons in the East River and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) from west of the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1 boat ramp, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

Leaving the boat ramp, I got onto the Greenway and headed north to photograph the Manhattan Bridge from Washington Street and enter the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade south of Prospect Street to walk across the river.

Photo Credit: David July — The bike path and Brooklyn Bridge (1883) eastern tower from the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2010) Pier 1 boat ramp, Brooklyn, New York: 26 January 2014

While it may not have been the most photogenic of days, I had a lot of fun exploring the park and believe that my images successfully captured the day's intemperate mood.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July

The Ornithologically Plenteous

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) chick in its rookery nest, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) chick in its rookery nest.

999 Anastasia Boulevard, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013


part of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park album

A haven for great egrets, snowy egrets, cattle egrets, tricolored herons, green herons, little blue herons, wood storks and roseate spoonbills, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park rookery is an amazing place to observe and photograph gregarious wading birds roosting and raising their young.

Photo Credit: David July — Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) with two chicks in her nest while three Great Egrets (Ardea alba) look around the rookery, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

Although it may seem strange that 736 adults would build 463 nests to raise their 601 chicks (2013 count) above a swamp filled with hundreds of alligators, the birds choose this place knowing that they are safe from tree-climbing predators.

Photo Credit: David July — Two Great Egret (Ardea alba) chicks in their nest at the rookery, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

A boardwalk winds through the rookery swamp providing incredible views of the adult birds, chicks, eggs and nests at close range. Most sections of the wooden walkway border trees, providing an intimate perspective not usually available.

Photo Credit: David July — Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) standing over her two chicks in their rookery nest, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

The zoo features many exhibits with exotic and in some cases endangered species — participating in the Species Survival Plan conservation project and conducting biological research — but I was most captivated by the rookery.

Photo Credit: David July — Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) with three eggs makes adjustments to her rookery nest, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

Based on the typical schedule, activity at the rookery has already begun for this year's season. From late April to early May, things usually get the most chaotic with loud, overlapping vocalizations and loads of chicks from every species hatched. This was my general experience on 27 May 2013.

Photo Credit: David July — Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) vocalizing while sitting in a tree in the rookery, St. Augustine, Florida: 27 May 2013

First established in 1893 as the St. Augustine Alligator Farm at South Beach, the current location was built in 1920 after two fires within four months destroyed the original. I really enjoyed my visit and shot 721 photographs plus nine videos. Suffice it to say, more images from this shoot will be developed hereafter.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July

The Marble-Graven Men

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — Wall-mounted lighting fixture in the portico with three marble busts outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber on 1F in the north wing of the United States Capitol (1811/1866), Washington, District of Columbia: 02 February 2014

Wall-mounted lighting fixture in the portico with three marble busts outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber on 1F in the north wing of the United States Capitol (1811/1866).

First Street SE, Washington, District of Columbia: 02 February 2014


part of the United States Capitol album

Outside and across the ground floor corridor from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol, there is a portico with three marble busts of foreign-born military figures on display.

Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski (1745–1779) of Warsaw, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a nobleman and military commander who fought against Russian domination in his country before emigrating to the United States to fight and die in the American Revolutionary War.

Photo Credit: David July — Marble bust of Casimir Pulaski (1857) by Henry Dmochowski Saunders in a portico outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber on 1F in the north wing of the United States Capitol (1811/1866), Washington, District of Columbia: 02 February 2014

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882) of Nice, France was a sailor, merchant captain, mercenary fighter and navy officer who participated in a mutiny against the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, engaged in freelance warfare in Brazil and Uruguay and later became an acclaimed military leader in Italy.

Photo Credit: David July — Marble bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1887) by Giuseppe Martegana in a portico outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber on 1F in the north wing of the United States Capitol (1811/1866), Washington, District of Columbia: 02 February 2014

Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kościuszko (1746–1817) of Mereczowszczyzna, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a traveler and student who came to the United States in 1776 to fight and provide key strategies, earning him a rank of brigadier general before returning to his county to fight the Russians.

Photo Credit: David July — Marble bust of Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1857) by Henry Dmochowski Saunders in a portico outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber on 1F in the north wing of the United States Capitol (1811/1866), Washington, District of Columbia: 02 February 2014

In celebration of what would have been Pulaski's 267th birthday, the Poles in America Foundation with congressional support from Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) conducted a wreath laying ceremony at the bust in 2012. Uniformed members of the now non-military Pulaski Cadets (1833) were also in attendance.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July