Why paddle your own canoe?

Our neighbors in Red Hook have a canoe in their front yard, festooned with trumpet creeper. It lurks there in the greenery, obstructing the means of egress from their basement, but we look at it enviously whenever strolling down the block. Filled with leaves and other debris deposited by the whistling winter winds, it sometimes seems to be in danger of become a vessel for composting, rather than paddling. The other weekend, we inquired, timidly, whether we might borrow it, and, perhaps, give it a rinse. Absolutely, said Jens, who even helped hoist it into the truck for the two block drive down to the waterfront. We launched from the beach at the end of Coffey St., and set out in a south-easterly direction, the tide nearing low.

Surfing gently over the wake of the Ikea Water Taxi, we rounded Pier 41 and set a course for the Erie Basin, a vast lagoon-like appendix to New York harbor, once cluttered with industrial relics, a shipwreck, and mysterious, rotting piers, but now home to the spanking fresh blue and yellow Ikea, Gigantoestorus box. Terns screeched overhead from nesting sites on the remnant decrepit barges, and a family of Nycticorax, the black-crowned night-heron, flushed from their daytime roost to fly up onto the rusty tracks that once fed the now-demolished sugar refinery with freshly arrived stalks of cane. Beyond the neighborhood's last vacant warehouse, Manhattan scraped the sky as the sun moved over to the west. There is no view of the city to be had quite like the one earned at the paddles of a hand-powered craft, sitting low on the water.


mgrace said...

Ah, I miss the harbor. I remember t days of paddling about in my inflatable canoe. Unfortunately, the wind was a hindrance, as there was no draft on the U.S.S. Beer Goggles
Looks like you guys were more successful rounding Cape Museum Barge; I was never able to battle off the fierce winds to make it that far.

Dodo said...

Watch out for the fast ferries from Bay Ridge,
those guys got us almost topped over a few times...
their wake is the worst!
Really miss the outings into the harbor, maybe we can get a few canoes together in the fall (I owe 1/2 of one), it is always safer and maybe more fun with more vessels.
No comments on the new venue down he block?
Btw, your ikeaphobia is delightful!