The Cool House: Bridges, waterfalls and soft shell crabs

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bridges, waterfalls and soft shell crabs


We chose yesterday as a day of culture, going into Manhattan to see the New York City Waterfalls. Having seen Olafur Eliasson's work at MoMA earlier this summer I had high expectations. Certainly the first exhibit under the Brooklyn Bridge was unexpected and eye-catching when glimpsed from Dover Street but the other Waterfalls left me underwhelmed. It was high tide when we arrived at the South Street Seaport and the waves were crashing over the esplanade. We could see the water being whipped up from the second Waterfall on the Brooklyn Piers but the one on Governor's Island wasn't operating.
I hadn't been to the Seaport in a few years and never in season so I wasn't really prepared for the crowds or the stalls selling "souvenirs" and Happy Hour cocktails. The lines to get on the cruise boats to view the Waterfalls close up were long and I was extremely glad we'd decided not to go all touristy and book one. Being out on the water for half an hour with a hundred or so of my closest friends and finding one or two of the exhibits weren't operating would not have been amusing.
The Guy was even less enthusiastic about the exhibit than I was, but we cured our ennui with a fabulous lunch at The Bridge Cafe, New York's oldest surviving drinking establishment and one-time house of ill-repute. There's nothing like Corn and Jalapeno Fritters followed by Soft Shell Crabs in a Scallion Buerre Blanc Sauce to restore one's jaded spirits.
The best view of the Pier 35 Waterfall proved to be from the taxi driving up the FDR, taking us uptown. Good to know if I wanted to see them lighted up at night, which I probably won't now. The Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall wasn't working when we drove past either.

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