Tag Archives: New York City

Here Is New York

After September 11, 2001, longtime friends of my in-laws sent around an email detailing a new emergency response plan. Should all forms of modern communication cut out once again, we were to follow one simple directive: Head to McSorley’s.

The establishment.

Located at 15 East 7th Street in the once dangerous but now hipster Lower East Side, McSorley’s serves beer. You must buy two–either light or dark–and you must keep drinking to keep your seat. When I first moved to the area we went once a month on Saturday afternoon, crammed around tiny wooden tables and ordered rounds. And plates of cheese and crackers, with slices of onion and extra sharp mustard. There was nothing hip, cool, insider, or happening about it but to me it represented the best of New York.

Until 1998 when I caught a striped bass.

The first one.

The best essay published to date on the city was was written in 1949 by E.B White. The best book detailing its modern infrastructure  is The Powerbroker by Robert Caro. There are countless others but no matter how many books you read, nothing will emotionally prepare you for the moment when you look up to see the other passengers move from one end of a crowded subway car to get away from the half-naked, face-painted man twisting animal balloons. And he’s sitting next to you.

I once lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, which a friend of mine from Brooklyn referred to as, “The Gateway to the West.”

There is the idea that New York is the center of the Universe. (And the idea, pointed out by residents, that the least “New York” area of the city is its most visited.) This is just an article of faith, but at least one aspect about New York is grounded in fact: the heart of the city sits on an island in the tidal section of a striped bass spawning river.

The young fish that show themselves in the backwaters of the boroughs and suburbs of the Sound each spring are Hudson fish. News travels fast in the big city (and everywhere) and if you blink you’ve missed it.

Young in the boroughs.

Spring is a great time in New York.


The Plane Crash Out My Window

I was talking to my boss on the phone when she stopped and said, “Someone said there’s a plane floating in the Hudson.”  We ran over to the west facing offices. There was.

At first we thought it was a movie prop. A plane floating along with the outgoing tide. Then two people came by and said they actually saw it fly in low over the water as if it were landing on a runway; then the nose cone submerged and then it floated along.

Someone grabbed binoculars. Holy fucking shit! That’s a real plane. Those are real people standing on the wings. What the hell is going on here?

We could see the patrol cars and fire engines roll down the street over to the waterfront by the Intrepid Museum. Fast ferries rolled out from their dockages on both the New York and New Jersey sides. It looked like they were rescuing a lot of people. It looked like a lot of people made it.

Now we’re all sitting around listening to news reports that seemed to take forever to come in terms of instant media. [Reality: about five minutes.] The early reports are that the commercial Airbus A320 hit a flock of geese.


[photo from Dan Long]

NYC: The Herring Run

I missed the herring run, but Capt. Dave Azar didn’t.


Capt. Dave: “Friday, 12/5 Had my good buddy David Mamiye out for a great winter day of catching.  Abundant striped bass from the Breezy Point Jetty for several miles in all directions.  After catching a few smaller schoolies we moved on to see if there were any bigger ones on herring.  There were massive flocks of working birds everywhere I pointed my binoculars, but the key to finding the bigger fish was locating the feeding gannets.  These very large birds can be counted on to signal bigger bait.  When we found them dive bombing the water along the Rockaway beaches we honed in and began catching fish in the next the size class, from 26″ to 29″, considerably larger than all the 22″ to 25” fish we’ve been catching for 3 or 4 weeks now.  Unfortunately the following Sunday and Monday had very strong winds and rough sea conditions making it impossible to get out again, but I drove to the beach Sunday and scoped out a 3 mile long flock of birds working offshore of the Rockaways.  I have the boat in the water until the season closes on Dec 15th and so far next Sunday, 14th and Monday, 15th are looking good weather wise, so there is still a chance to get in on the last of the action. “