Monday, April 17, 2006

Multimedia: The New York City Waterfront

As our waterfront becomes more and more accessible, it is increasingly being exposed to the millions of residents in the New York metropolitan region. One group that has recently taken a strong interest in the Harbor Estuary is the artist community. Recently, many great photos and paintings have appeared in local magazines and art galleries, showing that conservation and public access influence a world beyond what lies in the immediate foreground of science and policy. The following article and multimedia piece by the NY Times explores the journey of two photographers as they explore our coast. JB

April 16, 2006
By Ben Gibberd

EVERY New Yorker knows that something's afoot. Bike paths and benches have sprouted along the Hudson like tender shoots. Formerly obscure waterfront neighborhoods such as Red Hook and Dumbo are spoken of with that peculiar ardor reserved for the perfect nexus of hipness and real estate value.
And everywhere, in every borough, there are plans to rezone and rebuild, to tear down and to preserve along the city's edges.

That strange and melancholy frontier where the human-made fizzles out and Nature begins (a state both longed for and innately distrusted by every New Yorker) is once again being rediscovered as a source of energy and life.

Into the scrum of preservationists, developers, maritime interests, politicians and ordinary New Yorkers, each fighting for a particular vision of the waterfront, come Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, a husband-and-wife photography team who have spent the past three years documenting the city's infinitely convoluted 578 miles of shoreline. The aim of their project, which has received funding from the Design Trust for Public Space and the New York State Council on the Arts, is not to take sides but simply to show what is there.


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