17 January 2011

Qaptain Qwerty Crosses the George Washington

From time to time, I have a personal reason to be in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan Island in New York State, usually with a few hours to kill.  Only recently that I realized I can kill those hours by running to the neighboring state of New Jersey, via the George Washington Bridge.

A co-worker once told me about his bike trip along the West Side Highway northward to the GWB, crossing over to NJ then southward to wherever he lives.  Much as I love to carry out such a bike trip, for me to cycle from the Coney Island area, the southern end of Brooklyn, to Manhattan then northward, the time required can easily take half a day.  I don't have that luxury so running from Washington Heights is the next best thing.

I prefer intersecting vehicular traffic as little as possible so starting out at Highbridge Park (around 160ish Street) made the most sense.  At 178th Street, with a view of The Apartments, as often mentioned in traffic reports, I turned left to head for the Bridge.  I expected a ramp running along 178th Street and leading into the bridge.  Instead, the ramp was perpendicular to the bridge, pointing south then turned 180° to lead to the bridge.

The Apartments, those that are often mentioned in traffic reports.

Broadway and 178th Street.

No ramp can be seen leading into the bridge.
Even though it was cold, I was not the only person on the bridge.  There were some fellow joggers, a few pairs of walkers, and a few small groups of cyclists, all decked out in fancy tights and such.  Maybe because Washington Height itself is already on a high point of Manhattan, I did not feel much of an elevation and before long I was on the bridge's midpoint already.

No snow here!
I was hoping to find signs that say "Welcome to New Jersey" or even "Welcome to Fort Lee" but none was found.  Not in the middle of the bridge nor at its New Jersey end.  Maybe there was some sign on the lower level of the bridge.  On the Jersey side, I only went as far as the entrance to Palisade State Park.  No walking path was visible and there was much snow so I did not venture into the Park but instead headed back for New York.  Again, no sign welcoming the runners and such to New York.  Oh well, I guess it is just a travelers' bridge, not for tourists.

On the bridge, there were many signs about suicide prevention.  Not too long ago, a gay student who was outed by his classmates jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.  Unlike Manhattan Bridge or the Williamsburg Bridge, the railing on the GWB has no fence so it is easy to do so, if someone feels miserable enough.

The George Washington Bridge.

Welcome to New Jersey.  NOT!

Palisade State Park.

Time to head back to New York.
How do you like the title of this entry?  I was of course thinking of the famous painting called "George Washington Crossing the Delaware."


  1. It was a good run there, Qap. As always, the photos taken along the route made the story so much nicer. I felt as if I was running along with you :)
    I will be sure to make a big "Welcome to St. Louis" sign and hold it up as high as I could when you are here in April.
    Keep up the good work and stay warm :)

  2. Nice post! I'm surprised you would die from jumping off. It doesn't seem so high. I'm terrified of bridges but this one doesn't seem so bad.

  3. I'm counting on you to have that welcome sign, TOTA.

    It was pretty high, Salabencher. I didn't take any photos off the railing for fear, abnormally, that I would drop my wife's slim camera. My camera is too big to bring along on runs.

  4. It looks so industrial.

  5. yes it looks like so industrial.