Best Of The Time Lapses: New York By Mindrelic

Posted on 05/19/16 at 07:18 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Arrival Of Spring In The Galaxy’s Mini Park

Photographed in May in earlier years - click for larger images
















Posted on 04/22/16 at 11:00 AM by Peter Quennell.
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Value Watch: One Of Jersey’s Tallest Structures #1


















Posted on 04/01/16 at 08:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Value Watch: One Of Jersey’s Tallest Structures - Up Close

Shots are all clickable for larger images









Posted on 02/01/16 at 08:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Great Tourism #17: The Sweemingly Endless Coast Of Maine

Answer? Yes, still more of those great fishing ports of western Maine.  From Portland to Rockland.
Posted on 06/12/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Great Tourism #27: The World-Record Tidefalls Of The Huge Bay Of Fundy

[click for larger images]



Right. Eastern Canada’s remarkable Bay of Fundy again.

Above: The bay when the enormous tide has delivered fourteen cubic kilometers of water in six hours. The bay is so large that the far shoreline is not always in sight.

Below: The interesting and slightly scary sandscapes, teeming with life and fossils, exposed for a couple of hours when the tide is fully out again.




Below: High cliffs line most of the shoreline

NOT considered to be a smart idea to be caught below one of these when the tide comes in. Walkers and horseback riders keep a close eye on the clock.





Below: Cape Split, half-blocking the mouth of Minas Basin in the north-east

The fastest, most dangerous tidal rips are here, and they put out an eerie roar. Peak current speed is 8 miles an hour.

Nearby to the east are the greatest tide rises and falls ever measured, the 50-feet-plus ones.




Below: Ships come and go in a real hurry

These two below are the high-speed Cat Ferry from western Maine, arriving at the south-eastern shore, and an ore-carrier in Minas Basin, loading 20,000 tons of gypsum in three hours.



Below: Because of the huge tides, rather different from Maine

But there are whales and lighthouses and shore settlements and national parks with a wild beauty quite their own.

There is really a lot to do. Things are cheap for us, because the Canadian dollar is low The B&Bs are just great. And it is all very uncrowded…





Posted on 06/08/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Fall Leaves Peaking In Maine (Hint Hint!)

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Posted on 06/04/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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NY Times Also Promotes Bay Of Fundy For Great Low-Cost Vacations


We liked the Bay of Fundy not least because the US dollar still exchanges very nicely for the Canadian dollar.

A full-page article on the remarkable bay in Friday’s NY Times also remarked on how cheap everything suddenly seems to become.

It also points out how very uncrowded the bay area is, and the many things there for families to do. Here’s the opener.

As hordes of New Yorkers and New Englanders clog I-95 on their way to Maine’s vacationland attractions each summer, a few wise souls stop only long enough to tighten the ropes holding the kayak on the roof, then keep moving north.

Soon the traffic thins. The lines at the gas pumps disappear. The cranky natives at the cash registers begin to smile. That’s one way travelers know they’ve crossed the border into New Brunswick.

Two and a half more hours on the nearly empty highway, and they’re at Fundy National Park. There, in the dark of a cool summer night, they unpack the car, carry sleeping children into a cabin and inhale the salty ocean air laced with accents of the pine-needle carpet they cross.

With only about 300,000 annual visitors, Fundy National Park is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets — and something for Northeasterners to bear in mind for next summer if they want a family vacation away from the crowds.

Next summer? With fall ahead, who’s waiting for next summer?!


Posted on 06/03/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Great Tourism: Maine Fall Leaves Peak This Weekend

As you can see, the fall leaves that hit the ground with the rain described in yesterday’s post have already upped and re-attached themselves to the trees….

Just kidding….. the heavy rain arrived too early to do real damage to the autumn leaves, which are peaking late this year because of a mild late summer. This next weekend should see the real peaking in southern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The Adirondacks and northern Mass are very good too. You can certainly hope to improve on these shots, taken at latitudes between Kennebunkport and Augusta in Maine.

Gas is now around $2-85 a gallon for premium across New England. And as usual a $50 bid for a hotel room on Priceline the travel-auction site will get you a good hotel room cheaper than the non-chain motels in Maine cities and towns.

CLICK FOR MORE

Posted on 06/02/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Great Tourism: The Rain In Maine…. Rooaaars!

[click for larger images]

Southern and Central New England saw just about as much rain as we did here: several feet. Concluding last Tuesday. But it was not your average Passaic River or Hackensack River scene up there.

Much of the rain hit the mountains, and then headed for the coasts at breakneck speed. Rivers were foaming and at maybe twice their normal height. And the roaring waterfalls could be heard, and their clouds of spray seen, from several miles away.

The leaf-peeping tourists were few, but they had a wild time of it. And New England natives were saying they had never in memory seen anything like THIS….















Posted on 06/01/15 at 12:00 PM by Peter Quennell.
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A Negative Galaxy Board Vote On Pipeline Fight Could Destroy $100 Million Of Our Owner Value



Despite promises, many deadly gas pipeline explosions like this happen in the US every year


1. Fiduciary Responsibility Of The Board

The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to preserve owner values. If they allow damage, individual board members can be sued.

2. The Potential $100 Million Hit

The risk is not just physical or only to Tower III if the huge Williams-Transcontinental pipeline buried just north of us explodes.

The risk is also economic, and it will be to all of us, as word gets around brokers and potential owners and we find that nobody wants to buy.

This has been the repeated experience elsewhere in the US: when there’s an environmental risk, property values tank. Buyers all look elsewhere.

Now the Galaxy Board may decide to pull the plug on 10 years of hard work simply because of some small remaining lawyers costs.

Have they told all the owners the FULL truth here? Including the potentially terrible economic hit?

3. Letter From Six Past GTCA Presidents

Click for a larger version with six signatures




4. Letter From The Concerned Owners Group

Many of you have indicated interest and concern for the upcoming Galaxy Board vote on the Appleview appeal.  With the former Presidents’ consent, we’ve attached a joint letter which expresses the strong support for the Appleview opposition from ALL 6 former GTCA Board Presidents dating back to 2004, the year that began the Galaxy’s opposition to the Appleview Development.

Additionally, we were informed by the Bulls Ferry Board earlier this month that they have unanimously voted to proceed with their own attorney to appeal the Appleview approval. They’ve decided to do so in support of the Galaxy’s efforts, and to demonstrate a community concern for safety.

The Galaxy is at a critical juncture where our current Board’s support is needed to advance our opposition to the final stages where the Galaxy will have the greatest chance of success. This is because the case will be heard by the Appellate Division which is outside of local politics, and it will be reviewed by a panel of 2-3 judges who are not territorially assigned.  This is what the 10 years of opposition by the past boards have worked towards- a fair judgment outside of North Bergen and Hudson County.

Our Board will likely be taking a vote on the Galaxy’s appeal tomorrow at the Board meeting.  It could be in the closed session because of the litigation sensitivity, but the final decision may be disclosed in the open session if they did vote on the appeal.  We will keep you informed of their decision.

Posted on 09/23/14 at 06:58 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Update On The Grand Prix Of America - Hopefully In 2015 Now


Click on the map above for a larger version.

The northernmost point of the Grand Prix course is just one block south of Tower Two of the Galaxy. Expect dramatic views from southern windows in Tower One and Tower Two.

The southernmost point is up the overpass about 300 yards south of the Port Imperial ferry terminal and trolley station.

The start and finish line will be on the straight hard by the ferry terminal at Port Imperial. We guess grandstands will be built on all the open ground there though one big selling point of the track is for TV to show west-side Manhattan in the background.

The construction going on at Port Imperial now is related. It is for parking and facilities and eventually for retail stores.  We are not seeing any more mention of the Wyndham Hotel which was approved for right there.

Here is a little more on the planned course from the Wikipedia.  We reckon this is potentially a huge value-booster for the Galaxy and this part of the Gold Coast.

We will keep this in update from now on.

Posted on 06/24/14 at 07:51 PM by Peter Quennell.
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New In North Bergen: 7601 River Road Across From The Palisades Hospital


[Believed to be project approved in 2012]


This site was most recently the home of a warehouse.

A three-tower condo was first approved back in 2004.  In mid 2006 we posted that the homebuilder Pulte now owned the site but was trying to unload it.

Then followed a long period of nothing happening, while the housing market bottomed out and set about rising again. Now this project and various others along the Hudson, especially in Weehawken, are proceding full-speed ahead.

North Bergen re-arrovved the project in September 2012 with LWH LLC as the developers. This is from the report by Vanessa Cruz for the Hudson Reporter (thanks Vanessa).

The North Bergen Commissioners at their meeting on Wednesday approved a 30-year tax abatement for a new project on River Road that will hold 293 rental apartments.

The high rise will be built by developer LWH, LLC on vacant land at 7601 River Road. Township Administrator Chris Pianese said the project will result in $900,000 in taxes for the township over the first 10 years.

“There’s a fine line between letting property sit idle or trying to get some good development in town to keep the tax rate stable,” he said.

The meeting covered a few other important issues, but ended abruptly due to continued clapping from the administration’s critics (see sidebar, “More on the DPW matter”).

Tax abatement agreements are sometimes controversial because they allow a developer to pay a certain amount to the town rather than be subject to the fluctuations of regular property taxes, like other residents. However, the municipalities benefit from the agreements because the taxes go directly to the town rather than being spread among the county and schools as well. Developers will still have to contribute a 5 percent fee to the county.

The agreements are meant as an incentive to spur development, often in blighted areas.

The abatement has a term of 30 years, with various phases requiring different levels of payment, and was introduced at the meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

“The desire of the developer was to grant an abatement…to make his financing work so that he can build a project,” said Pianese after the meeting. “We get more in taxes than we would have from conventional taxation.” He said that the town would have collected only $500,000 over 10 years without the agreement.

The first payment of $870,000 will be made in July of 2014.  Construction should take place June 2014.

“It keeps them on schedule because regardless of where they are with construction, they pay this agreement based on the dates that are provided,” said Pianese.

Here is a possible description from the Dresdner Robin Website  This may or may not still be current. We will find out and if necessary update it.

The 7601 River Road project is located in North Bergen, New Jersey near the Hudson River and at the base of the Palisades on a 4.389 acre site offering dramatic views to Manhattan. The project consists of a 12 story, 300 unit residential structure with a 279 stall parking garage and an additional 150 surface parking stalls. Two rooftop plazas are located above the parking garage and are separated by a wing of the building. The units along the perimeter of the plazas will have private terraces overlooking the space and offering views to Manhattan.

As the project Landscape Architect, Dresdner Robin was responsible for the designing the site landscaping and lighting in accordance with city and county standards. Our lighting plans included photometric data as well as a point-by-point lighting analysis. Dresdner Robin utilized multiple style lighting fixtures to provide adequate cost effective site lighting. As the rooftop designers, Dresdner Robin was responsible for laying out the spaces, choosing the pavement and material finishes, providing seating, lounging, dining, and activity areas.

The southern rooftop is more formal in design and offers active recreation space in the form of a raised lap pool and lounge area. The pool deck elevation was raised so as not to interfere with the parking below and increases the views east to Manhattan. The pool deck will be paved with decorative precast concrete pavers; the retaining walls will be faced with brick to match the building and toped with cast stone copings. Access to the pool will be by accessible ramp or stairs. Circular stadium style steps provide continuous seating opportunities while transitioning down to a sodded lawn area with multiple seating alcoves and a bluestone patio area with tables and chairs. The Landscaping was designed so as not to block the views to Manhattan, provide some separation between the private terraces and the pool, and provide splashes of color. The Northern rooftop is more freeform and curvilinear with no straight lines providing four circular passive spaces connected by walkways paved with stamped and colored concrete and separated by a diverse plant palate that provides color and form.

[Believed to be prtoject approved 2004-2006]

Posted on 05/28/14 at 02:33 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Videos Of The Grand Prix Of America Circuit: Our Area - The New Monte Carlo?!!





Posted on 06/14/12 at 02:15 PM by Peter Quennell.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #7

Answer? Northern Massachusetts.

(1) In the north-west,  Shelburne Falls and Turners Falls (there’s no tourism internet page for Turners Falls, but the hydro and lock system is very impressive) and Gardner.

(2) In the north-east, Gloucester. The home port of the fishing boat that was swallowed up in A Perfect Storm. It is an hour or so north-east of Boston.

 

Posted on 01/01/12 at 08:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #6

Answer? .....The New Jersey Botanical Garden At Skylands Manor Very high up. Spectacularly situated on a hilltop, in fact. Very diverse trees and flowers. Huge sweeping lawns. And a nice drive from each of several directions.

The New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands encompasses the heartland of an estate assembled from pioneer farmsteads in the 1890s. In 1922, Clarence McKenzie Lewis, an investment banker and a trustee of the New York Botanical Garden, purchased the property and built the existing Tudor-style manor house. He also transformed Skylands into a botanical showplace. Mr. Lewis engaged prominent landscape architects to design the grounds and for thirty years collected plants from all over the world to show in his gardens. In 1966, the State of New Jersey purchased the 1,117 acres of Skylands, the state’s first acquisition under the Green Acres preservation program. In March 1984, Governor Thomas Kean designated the central 96 acres surrounding the manor house as the State’s official botanical garden. Skylands appears on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Skylands’ gardens are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day. Entrance to the gardens is free. On weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, there is a modest parking charge. To preserve and protect the gardens, we ask that visitors refrain from playing ball or Frisbee games, picnicking and bringing pets onto the grounds.
Driving Directions: This is the easy route: via the New York Thruway (I-87/287) & Route 17 Take the New York Thruway or NJ Route 17 to Exit 15-A on the Thruway. Take NY Route 17 North to Route 72 West, which becomes Sloatsburg Road in New Jersey. Take Sloatsburg Road past Ringwood Manor. Make a left onto Morris Road. The NJBG is 1.5 miles up Morris Road at the top of the hill. This is the more complicated and more interesting route via the Skyline Drive Take Route 4 through Paramus to the I-287 and head south. At Exit 57, follow the signs to Skyline Drive. Drive over the mountain (approximately five miles). Turn right at the bottom of Skyline Drive on #511. Take second right onto Sloatsburg Road. You will pass the Hewitt School and Carletondale Road. Make a right on Morris Road. The NJBG is 1.5 miles up on Morris Road, at the top of the hill.
Posted on 12/03/11 at 08:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #5

Answer? As in the comments below: Mount Mansfield. At 4,393 feet, it is the highest mountain in Vermont.

By the way, a further clue: the ski-lift ceases to operate for several months halfway through leaf-peeper season. Just don’t be caught on the summit when that event happens.

Posted on 12/02/11 at 08:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #4

Answer? Woods Hole. South-east end of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Home to what is probably the largest and best-funded marine institute in the world. The one that located the Titanic. It has a great small museum and some nice places for seafood. And it is very pretty to walk. The last three shots gave it away, right? One is of the Nantucket ferry and two are on the Cape Cod shipping canal. Woods Hole is in itself not a destination for more than a few hours, perhaps, but there is all of Cape Cod itself to the east, and New Plymouth to the north, and Rhode Island and especially Newport to the west.

Posted on 12/01/11 at 08:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #3


Answer? Kykuit Manor. The 20th-century Rockefeller mansion and estate high on a hill near Tarrytown in the Hudson valley.

CLICK FOR MORE

Posted on 11/02/11 at 07:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #2 (B)

CLICK FOR MORE

Posted on 10/14/11 at 09:10 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #2 (A)

Answer? If you really don’t have it, the answer is at the foot of the second post in a day or two with some more shots.

Posted on 10/14/11 at 08:59 PM by The GR Team.
Click here for the permanent link • Archived in 3 N-E Jersey DevelRecreation5 New York DevelThe Bronx


Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #1

Answer? Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds. A small lake high in the Adirondacks. The source of our own River Hudson.

And if you want to zig-zag from down here to up there, you are gonna have to make it through or across the 36 tunnels and bridges listed below. Happy zig-zagging…...


List of the Hudson’s 36 tunnels and bridges

Click “More” below for the full list.

CLICK FOR MORE

Posted on 10/13/11 at 07:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #26

[click for larger images]




CLICK FOR MORE

Posted on 10/11/11 at 12:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #25

[click for larger images]








Right. Tennessee’s and North Carolina’s Great Smokey Mountains

And the great mountain forests that surround them. At this point, your photographer still feels tethered to Mother Earth….

Posted on 10/10/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #24





Right. Eastern Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

Known for its awesome 50-plus-feet tide-rises. Or tide-falls. See the before-and-after shots below.

There are dramatic descriptions here and here.

Fourteen billion tons. Twice daily. Eastern Canada actually bends a little, under that weight.

Gripping to see this in motion. There’s a map at the bottom here. A long day’s drive north-east.

Now you see it…


And now you don’t


Now you see it…


And now you don’t


Now you see it…


And now you don’t




Posted on 10/09/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #23

Okay, we’ll concede they’re horses. But what and where?

[click for larger images]










Right. The famous wild horses on Assateague Island.

Assateague is on the Atlantic coast, four or five hours drive south of the Galaxy, half in Maryland and half in Virginia.

Myth has it the horses survived a 16th century shipwreck.

There are two herds of these horses. The Maryland herd runs free all year and is left alone by the park authorities.

The Virginia herd is rounded up for health checks (this is a part of the Virginia herd at Chincoteague, a colorful town if ever there was one) a couple of times a year.

In July some of these horses - much sought after for their sweet disposition - will be auctiond off to stop over-population and over-grazing.

Good links here, here, here, here, and here.

Our previous Mystery Destinations here. Scroll down.

Posted on 10/08/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #22

Do you know what and where these are? We know you do. For those others, the answers are at bottom…

[click for larger images]












Right. Ancient quilts on temporary display at Winturthur

Maybe a good one for the Galaxy quilters. If they have not been already. Late in the day, quilters from all over really flood the show.

There are in fact two displays of these 200-year-old quilts. This is the one in the galleries (two more shots below) and the other is on the fourth or fifth floor of the mansion.

General description of Wintherthur and directions for getting there the same as last for week’s post (scroll down).

The quilt show is described here. In late April and May the gardens are fantastic, too.



Posted on 10/07/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #21

Do you know what and where these are? We know you do. For those others, the answers are at bottom…

[click for larger images]







Right! The famous Campbell’s Soup Tureen Collection

Permanently on display at Henry Du Pont’s Winterthur Mansion.

There are a dozen or so more shots below.

About Winterthur

Winterthur is perhaps the greatest destination in the US for floor after floor of early American furniture, furnishings, and whole rooms.

Spec-tac-ular. A major destination for anyone interested in US history or home decorating. And the shop, bookstore and cafeteria are all excellent.

In the next four weeks, the large gardens will start to peak in their spring colors. NO WAY you can see everything there in one day.

About getting there

Just over two hours drive from the Galaxy.

Down the Turnpike to the southern end. Across the Delaware Bridge and then NORTH on the I-95 toward Wilmington and Philly.

At the Route 52 exit in Wilmington, exit, and head north-west up Route 52 for around 10 minutes. Winterthur is on the right after several large estates.
















Posted on 10/06/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #20

Fall colors in the great scenic areas of…

Right. In the great scenic canyonlands of southern Utah.
Posted on 10/05/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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Tourism Watch: Mystery Destination #19

Answer? Dupont’s Longwood. North-east of Wilmington in Delaware. Yes, even in winter. Maybe especially in winter! Dupont loved fountains in the same way that Hearst loved swimming-pools, to recall our remark about Hearst last December. The pump-house at Longwood is a real monster. And Dupont also loved his really huge conservatory. This in his day was a very successful money-making operation, with its winter fruit, vegetables and flowers. The largest of the fountain shows, with the lights and the music, only happen in the summer. But you can see at least two fountains playing through the winter. Also in winter you can see the winter lighting effects (some shots below). And of course the conservatory (also shots below) which in part has just emerged from an extensive makeover. Longwood is west of Philadelphia and north-west of Wilmington. Directions are here. You should make it there in just over 90 minutes, faster down the NJ Turnpike, but more interesting via Philly. Again, all year round, Longwood is worth the trip. 
Posted on 10/04/11 at 05:00 PM by The GR Team.
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