1982 – The Seaplane Shoot: NY Harbor, Manhattan, NJ
For my sister’s 23rd birthday, I arranged a seaplane ride, including the GF, that took off from the Overpeck Creek/Hackensack River area in Ridgefield Park, NJ. It headed south, generally following the New Jersey Turnpike and taking us over the Meadowlands, past the Sports Complex (Brendan Byrne Arena, Giants Stadium, Meadowlands Racetrack).
We cut over to the bay and flew over the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I had told the pilot I’d be shooting, so he suggested taking the right rear seat and flew to the left of those structures so I could capture them. Then he made a U-turn, so we could go up the Hudson River and everything was right out my window as we headed north: the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, 34th Street, Central Park and its reservoir (between 86th and 96th streets) and Riverside Church (between 120th and 122nd streets).
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn is in the background:
I should mention that the plane rocked a bit from side-to-side, which put the right wing in my frame, limiting when I could shoot. As you can see, I included one of those poorly-timed shots that cut off Tower One’s antenna.
The spired buildings are the Chrysler Building on the left and the Empire State Building on the right. The round building just below center is the world-famous Madison Square Garden.
A look down 34th St. For all you out-of-towners, we’re flying over the Hudson River and you can see the East River – Manhattan’s eastern boundary – at the end of 34th St. The Garden is on 33rd on Manhattan’s West Side and the Empire State is on 34th on the East Side.
This looks a little shaky. It must be due to all the air turbulence that caused the rocking back-and-forth of the plane that I mentioned earlier…………….yeah, that’s it.
I was hoping that the pilot would go up as far north as the George Washington Bridge, but he made a left well short of it. At least that gave me a chance to get a shot of (almost) all of the bridge, including New Jersey’s Palisades.
The next shot shows the bridge, the Palisades and Fort Lee, NJ, including some of the roadway that becomes a few major highways.
At this point, I was straining against my seat belt to turn around to shoot a shot I really wanted. I should tell you first that it was July 5 – a Monday on which the 4th of July was officially celebrated that year. That meant that the world’s largest hanging US flag would be suspended from the NJ tower of the bridge. If you look real hard, you can barely make it out (note: I have lots of closeups of this flag elsewhere on this blog).
The rest of the trip’s shots are of local interest. The structure being built is now the Glenpointe Hotel, which sits at the intersection of I-95 and the eastern terminus of I-80. On the far left is Holy Name Hospital, where I was born.
The next image shows parts of Teaneck and Ridgefield Park, followed by a now-lower-altitude shot of the 4th of July parade on Main St in Ridgefield Park.
The picture after that is a very low-altitude shot of the Route 46 bridge over the Hackensack River, where we splashed down a few moments later.
The day was overcast, but that doesn’t explain why beautiful Kodachrome film came out so bluish-green (and I’ve removed a LOT of it).
Maybe the plane had tinted windows (uh-huh).
NOTE: It’s now been two years since I wrote this post. Just yesterday (May 7, 2019), I finally found the final shot of us after we got out of the plane, taken by the pilot. The windows ARE tinted!