Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

pier 76

Posted in hudson river, pier, towing pound by bowsprite on 2011/01/23

Pier 76 has a rich history associated with some beautiful ships:

the United States, the Leviathan, the America and many others.
Here are the current visiting hours.

I haven’t been inside yet. Guess I’ve been lucky so far with my vehicle.

Sorry to say: it seems towing vehicles is sometimes a city revenue generator. Friends’ cars parked in seemingly solid spots have been towed. Police and ticketing agents around a section where a car was towed away have been apologetic and absolutely unable to verify whether the space was a parking violation zone. NO signs are around to indicate the car will be towed; it does seem arbitrary: who you get that day. The BermudaTriangle area is at the Battery. Be warned. If it happens to you, I’m sorry. Don’t lose your cool. Bring a sketchpad to the Pound.

Here is the original sketch done at the site:

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14 Responses

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  1. tugster said, on 2011/01/24 at 08:22

    glad to see this and hope to see more and more and more soon. what you capture perfectly with the top drawing is that the waterside of the pier–arguably the “front”–by its neglected appearance is made the “back.” what gets the paint and signage . . .the landside of course rather than the waterside. brava!! more piers soon, please.

  2. O Docker said, on 2011/01/24 at 10:57

    Waycool bike! Wooden racks for your tusche and a Brooks saddle for your, uh, comfort.

    After all of these years of neglect, it’s a shame what sad times have befallen the United States – and the ship with the same name, too.

    • bowsprite said, on 2011/01/24 at 11:00

      ¡ tuché !

    • tugster said, on 2011/01/24 at 11:02

      oh! it gets worse. pier 76 is also home to NYPD’s “mounted unit.” dozens of horses (quadripeds and not seahorses) …can’t figure out quite how many… live there. from luxury liner terminal to . . . stable! it’s vital that these animals be there, i suppose.

      • bowsprite said, on 2011/01/25 at 07:29

        the horses are probably nicer tenants.

  3. Buck said, on 2011/01/24 at 12:08

    I love how the top photo looks like a ship moving toward the right edge of the… paper.

    What do I call these? Drawings? Paintings? Paper? I’m so illiterate sometimes.

    • bowsprite said, on 2011/01/25 at 07:18

      I call them loopy doodles. This one is rather a collage, since I pasted in the texture of the actual wall of strange grey brick. These pixels on a screen are the finished drawing; the ‘original art’ looks nothing at all like this!

  4. Vagabonde said, on 2011/01/24 at 20:15

    You are a hardy soul to draw with snow and ice around you – I can barely move when it hits 36 degrees. I like the color of the water you painted, but it looks cold. Amicalement VB

  5. [...] her “tools of the trade.”  She’s also shown her studio in the most recent post here, and further discussed the craft of her trade in the comments.  My post here is a public thank-you [...]

  6. O Docker said, on 2011/01/25 at 10:29

    When I lived in Philly, and occasionally drove to New York, parking was just another essential urban survival skill.

    To make it in the city, you have to eat, find shelter, know how to get concert tickets, and be wise in the ways of parking. Fail at any of those and you perish.

    Sniffing out, tracking down, and landing a legal, or quasi-legal spot is as primal and dangerous a blood sport as mastodon hunting. The strong park and prosper. The weak are doomed to circle endlessly or to walk for miles. The hopelessly frail are crushed by tickets.

    Just as you approach a mastodon from downwind with stealth and fearlessness, you work the ever-shifting currents of the one-way grids, slyly stalking your prey. Timing is everything. Hesitation is fatal.

    A quick turn to cut off a rival. A feint to block an opening spot. Running a yellow to get first crack at the next block. Skills not easily mastered.

    Sometimes, the beast whirls and turns on you, drawing first blood. The timid, inexperienced, and slow-witted wince from the sting of a well-placed citation.

    The city is a cruel and fickle teacher. To park well is to savor her heady rewards.

    • Tommy Krenshaw` said, on 2011/01/26 at 14:21

      Oh man, O Docker, you totally nailed it.

      I’ve been here almost 7 years, and my last trip to the tow pound at Pier 76 wasn’t even for my car! And [wait for the kicker] there was no violation!!!

      When I asked why the borrowed car was towed, the response [no kidding] was: “it depends on who’s working out there that day.”

      Um, really?

      I had a car when I first moved here, and got a $65 ticket in the first hour of being here. No idea what “no standing” was supposed to mean… hahaha! Needless to say, I don’t have a car anymore and also prefer my bike. It’s really the only way to preserve any sanity.

      I’ll go by boat any day of the week too.

      Thanks, Christina for the art. You’re an angel, and I love this site.

  7. tugster said, on 2011/01/28 at 08:21

    i do love the latest addition to this post . . . a deconstruction of the final piece. can you further deconstruction, not as a “how to” but rather as an interesting (to me) “how did?” more more . . .please.

  8. Mage Bailey said, on 2011/01/28 at 17:58

    A wonderful collage. A delightful doodle. You cleaned it up a bit much, but I love it anyway. I certainly like your form of transportation. Here I worked for the wicked Western Towing that impounded/s cars with great verve. By law entrances and exits
    had to be clearly marked, and We had to wait till they had been parked illegally for X amount of time. As they parked at Target and walked across the street to watch Disney on Ice….or some such thing, to save 30 bucks, they were faced with more signage. When they got across the street, there were even more signs. It was a long walk and 300 bucks to pick up their cars.


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