Brooklyn Heights and The Vessel

I think I’ve said before that we wanted to stay in Brooklyn this time in order to facilitate easier exploration, and Archie wanted to do a bit too, so we planned a short walking tour of Brooklyn Heights.

Our first stop was the Transit Museum, which displays historical artifacts of the New York City subway, bus and commuter rail systems, including building the underground system, and the accompanying dramas. It is located in the decommissioned Court Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights, and the entrance is quite unexpected. In fact we were standing outside waiting for Archie to join us when a rather harried looking woman came up and asked us if we knew where the entrance was as she’d been looking for a while. We pointed to the stairs going into the bowels of the earth and she couldn’t believe it!


There were a number of locomotives and carriages to explore, and I loved this one with the wicker seats, although Blanca ( told me that they played havoc with her husband’s suit trousers, and I could imagine that they wouldn’t have been too good for women’s clothing either!


This carriage screams 1960s and I love the hanging straps. I think my biggest disappointment when I first rode the subways in New York was that I couldn’t hang off one of these, but the modern system is much more efficient. Also look at how polished the outside of the carriage is!


We are a family who love wood so were instantly entranced with the turnstiles on display. They made the most beautiful noise as they turned and look at the size of the barrier!


Back out on the street, and I found a wool shop! It’s not too far from where we’re staying and there is a yarn trail happening in NYC in a couple of weeks, so I’ll go back and see if I need anything.


I had a bit of a yen to see this brownstone in Joralemon Street, as it hides a subway ventilator and also functions as an emergency exit.


The black windows are a bit of a giveaway, as is the “front garden” which is metal with some steam gizmos installed.


Apparently it’s not uncommon for utilities to be hidden inside fake houses, and I just discovered that Con-Ed have one in the Bronx. Adding it to the list…

We had a happy afternoon exploring shops and the Gowanus waterfront.

On previous visits to Manhattan we’d noticed a strange honeycomb-like structure being built at Hudson Yards, and knew it was finished, so set off to check it out.

The escalators at Hudson Yards are really something. The subway is very deeply underground necessitating these long, steep escalators. I’m not sure I have captured them very well.


But when you pop out at the top, the view of The Vessel, as the structure is called, is really worth it. Tickets have to be obtained, but they are free. They help regulate the numbers of visitors.IMG_9664

It has a highly polished copper finish and is quite high! I was expected to climb to the top of course!


Doing my best to smile on the very top! I thought I’d done my bit and could scuttle back down but Mark informed me that I had to walk right round the top. This statement took me back to the 1980s when I went to the roof observatory of one of the Twin Towers, and as I got there I asked a guard how I could get down quickly and he said “you’ve got to walk right round the top lady”! At least with that spot I had a wall I could inch along, this was open on both sides.


Mark took these photos – no way was I leaning over a railing!


Caught in the act of looking terrified!


At the very top and I’m busy thinking that this is all grounds for divorce!


The views are pretty incredible though.


You can see why it’s called Hudson Yards. It’s still a marshalling yard for the trains, but on the other side tall commercial buildings are rising out of the ground.


This photo gives a hint of how The Vessel is positioned in the centre of these new buildings. I love how they look as though they are disappearing into the clouds.


and Mark and I had to do the tourist thing! I was back on terra firma and friends with him again!


Hudson Yards is now connected to the Highline and we thought we’d explore the newly opened section, but it was packed with people. For another day then!


However from the street level we were able to see one of the remarkable new sculptures by Simone Leigh. This is is entitled Brick House and it towers over 10th Ave and 30th Street. It is a bronze bust which is sixteen feet tall.


I hope we can walk up here before we finally leave New York City.


10 thoughts on “Brooklyn Heights and The Vessel

  1. I am loving your tour of NYC, I have been there several times but was not aware of all the places you have shown us. I guess I will need to return. Great photos and commentary, thanks

  2. Great photos. The vessel wasn’t there when we visited but your pictures make me want to go back so maybe next time I’ll get to it. I just have to persuade The Management 🙄

  3. Impressive shots! The Vessel is definitely on our must-visit list next time we’re in NYC. So glad you reconciled with Mark before coming to Montréal 😉

    1. It was touch and go whether I’d speak to him again! But once I was on the ground I was so happy to have mastered my fear and managed to reach the top.

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