East River State Park and McCarren Pool
Brooklyn Travel Blog› entry 822 of 1090 › view all entries
Greenpoint is the most northern neighborhood of the borough of Brooklyn. Greenpoint was used by the Lenape Indians for farming before the Dutch settlers came. It remained a separate community that had only one road to Brooklyn. Later it was added to Brooklyn and again later it became a part of New York City.
Greenpoint had an industrial history, the riverside lots were occupied by factories, warehouses, and freight yards. A lot of Greenpoint's nice luxury high rise condominiums are currently located on the sites of these former industrial areas. In that way the history is quite similar to the area of Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens, see here.
I had had plans for a long time to have a look in this neighborhood. And today was going to be that day. I took the L-train to Bedford Avenue (the longest street in the borough!) where I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed atmosphere of this area. Nice little shops, cozy restaurants and bars.
One of my aims was East River State Park. A park located on the bank of the East River. The site housed the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, a rail-marine terminal. Activities date back to the 1870s. The real rail-marine era started in 1915 and turned out to be a huge success, but eventually the facility, sadly, had to be closed down in 1983. Declining rail activity made further operations impossible. The site was bought by the State of New York, many buildings were razed, but some key features remained.
An other item I wanted to have a look at was McCarren Pool in McCarren Park. This pool was opened in July 1936 and served the neighborhoods of Willamsburg and Greenpoint for almost 50 years, until it closed in 1984. It was abandoned and in heavy decay for 11 years until it was turned into an open air venue in 2005. In 2008 the city was successful in providing funds for the full restoration of the iconic pool and its characteristic arched New Deal Architecture buildings. Last Thursday the pool was finally reopened, and can be visited for free!
I was not allowed to go into the pool since I did not bring swimming gear nor a lock for the locker room. The security guard did not want to let me in even if I did not intend to swim. Besides that photography is forbidden inside the pool.
I finished my visit by walking the 222-m (7308 ft) Williamsburg Bridge back into Manhattan. In the warm colours of the setting sun a huge pleasure, and much warmer compared to my previous visit in 2008 (see here). From the bridge I had a great view on another landmark which hopefully will be saved one day too. The Domino Sugar Factory. Once producing 60% of the nation's sugar demand, now declining after its closure in 2004.
More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten