To do & see
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Billy Noble 25, lives on the Upper East Side and teaches 12- to 14-year-olds in the Bronx Billy Noble in a New York bar
Positioned on Rockaway Peninsula, Fort Tilden—part of Gateway National Recreation Area —offers a mixture of decommissioned military structures and reclaimed natural areas, including some of the most beautiful beaches (un-lifeguarded) in New York that are perfect for walking or fishing. Tours and other ranger-led programs highlight many great spots to see wildlife in the maritime forest, along the Atlantic shore, and near the fort's freshwater pond. The observatory deck on top of Battery Harris East, a historic gun site, offers dramatic 360-degree panoramic views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor, and is a great vantage point from which to spot migrating birds. Listen to stories about hawking in Fort Tilden and other national park sites around Jamaica Bay from national park ranger and naturalist Dave Taft.
A derelict mass of rusty iron and reinforced concrete; a vestige of a bygone era that tore through the West Side of Manhattan; a grim and gritty canopy, sheltering blood-soaked meat packers and transgender prostitutes. Back in 1990, the raised tracks of the High Line, which until 1980 had freighted factory goods between 34th street and Chelsea and Soho downtown did not seem to me like the natural place for a park. Unknown to even the most inquisitive New Yorker, this 1½-mile stretch of abandoned elevated railway had become a secret garden in the sky - a home to saplings, wild grasses and monarch butterflies.