2016-01-09 40 -74

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Sat 9 Jan 2016 in 40,-74:
40.7823047, -74.0211839

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A very busy sidewalk in a South American neighborhood in Union City, New Jersey.




This was an easy but super cool hash. It was a nice day (5C probably) so I decided to bike down the Hudson River path to the 39th St ferry dock, park there, take the boat across to Port Imperial (Weehawken) and then walk the kilometer or so to the spot, thus qualifying me for neither the bike, transit, nor walk ribbons. :> But I respect that.

The dock was reasonably crowded, some tourists but seemed like mostly Hudson County locals going to and from New York. The boat ride was scenic, quick and windy, and soon I was at the base of the Palisade cliffs, atop which I work (30+ kilometers north of here, though.) A few big condo buildings sat on landfill built into the river.

The way up involved a cool pedestrian bridge over the light-rail tracks (which curved into a deep round tunnel bored through the cliff just to the north), followed by a massive, badly painted, prefab-looking series of metal staircases which scaled the ~50m rock cliff. I was the only person headed up, though there were a few going down, one of whom asked me if I was training for the football team.

At the top I found a dense, friendly-looking urban neighborhood, all three and four story brick apartment buildings and little restaurants and an actual gas station, with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline back across the Hudson. Proceeding west on 48th St, it became clear that this was a very Latin American area, specifically Cuban and South American. There were lots of little specialty restaurants and a grocery store. One business looked out of place though, a novelty shop with cheesy American t-shirts, rock n roll memorabilia, pirate flags and other gewgaws in the window.

Soon enough I made it to Bergenline Ave, the main drag which guarded the hash on its east sidewalk. Finding the point was really easy, except that I had to hashdance in the middle of a river of bemused pedestrians, including people getting off a bus at one point. The immediate hash businesses turned out to be a pharmacy and a Dunkin Donuts, but there were tons of South American stores and eateries as well. I crossed the street and got a delicious pastry of unknown name at a Peruvian bakery (I speak no Spanish so was hard to find out more.) If it hadn't been so early I probably would have had dinner somewhere.

On the way back I decided to check out the novelty shop (missing places like Archie McPhee's from 47,-122) only to find out it was much more! The front room was covered wall to wall in posters, t-shirts, stickers for great 70s, 80s and early 90s rock bands. In back rooms you could buy swords, nunchucks and all kinds of other weapons, and upstairs there was actually a sex shop. None of this was advertised in the window -- it was like I had suddenly stepped into a gritty comedy or action movie from circa 1994. The employees were all really enthusiastic about this state of things.

None of the Led Zeppelin t-shirts were quite the one I was looking for, though, so I thanked the staff and headed back down the street and cliff to the dock:

  • Made it an hour ago, it's a really interesting place. Now waiting for Chinese food at the ferry terminal... looking out at the Manhattan skyline :D -- OtherJack (talk) @40.7766,-74.0110 17:05, 9 January 2016 (EST)

The chicken with string beans and black bean sauce turned out to be great, and soon I was reunited with my bike in Manhattan and then home. One of my most unusual geohashes!