On the water in Newburgh

Since my wife discovered a couple of nurseries she likes in/around Newburgh we seem to have been going there quite a lot. The waterfront is very appealing with its various restaurants and wonderful views. The picture above looks South with (if I’m not mistaken) the Hudson Highlands on the left and Storm King State Park on the right.

The River Rose. I’ve posted about this boat before, both at dock (See: On the Newburgh Waterfront) and on the River (See: A Day in Beacon – On the Water to Bannerman’s Island. The River Rose) but a few more pictures won’t hurt.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Downing Park, Newburgh – The Pergola

Newburgh really is a city of two faces. On the one hand it has wonderful old buildings; lovely parks; some great restaurants (especially on the picturesque waterfront); historic sites (e.g. Washington and Knox’s headquarters) etc. On the other a lot of it is run down, falling apart, and crime-ridden. Some parts of Newburgh are a delight to walk around in while you couldn’t pay me to walk around in others.

According to Wikipedia:

Newburgh, New York was ranked more dangerous than 95 percent of US cities by website NeighborhoodScout, based on 2012 FBI crime data. This group also ranked Newburgh as the 10th most dangerous place to live in the United States based on the same 2012 dataset. It was ranked at number 12 in the previous year’s rankings.

In 2010, The New York Times wrote an extensive article on gang activity in Newburgh.

In 2014, Newburgh began implementing a program called “Group Violence Intervention,” an example of focused deterrence. In 2017, Newburgh reported the lowest crime rates in 10 years.

As indicated in the last paragraph above, the situation has improved significantly and continues to improve. This situation is reflected in Downing Park. According to the City of Newburgh website:

The pergola, designed in 1908 by Frank Estabrook, was a focal point of the park for many generations. Elaborate formal gardens surrounded the structure until the 1960s. This area was fondly remembered for the masses of tulip gardens that bloomed each spring. As city budgets were cut and park funding suspended, the pergola was neglected and left in a deteriorated state. The Downing Park Planning Committee is currently raising money to revitalize this area of the park.

Much of Downing Park has been renovated and the area around the “Polly” Pond is a lovely place to walk. I’d like to go back on a nice day and sit outside the newly renovated and recently opened Shelter House Cafe.

However, other parts still need work. The picture of the pergola above shows it as it is today: cracked concrete steps, overgrown by vines and other weeds, covered in graffiti.

The picture below (Source: The impressive Newburgh History Blog) shows it how it once was.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Downing Park, Newburgh – Hudson View

This is a terrible picture of a spectacular view. It was taken in the vicinity of the two memorials (the path up to the Peace Pole can be seen in the foreground) in the preceding post. Unfortunately it was a very hot, humid and, most importantly, extremely hazy day. I include it as it gives a sense of some of the amazing views that can be seen from certain parts of Newburgh.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Downing Park, Newburgh – Andy J Antinori memorial and peace pole

Off the beaten track a bit I came across these two memorials in the same location. The memorial above is to Andy J. Antinori and it reads: “In Loving Memory. Andy J. Antinori. A man who inspired people to appreciate the beauty of nature.” His obituary can be found here.

According to the May Peace Prevail On Earth International web site:

The “Peace Pole” was dedicated in memory of all those innocent people, men, women and children who died in the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki and those today dying unnecessarily in Iraq, Syria, Israel/Palestine and the Ukraine.Youth from the BOCES Summer Program were employed to revitalize Downing Park and to create a garden to plant the Peace Pole.

Another section on the same site provides addition information on the Peace Pole project.

A Peace Pole is an internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth. Each Peace Pole bears the message May Peace Prevail on Earth in different languages on each of its four or six sides. There are estimated over 250,000 Peace Poles in every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.