The High Bridge Is Open

tower 1s

I’ve been wanting to visit the newly refurbished and reopened High Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx.  It’s within walking distance of where I live, but I never managed it until yesterday.  Good excuse:  the NYC Urban Sketchers were meeting there to record their impressions.  That was the push I needed.

top of tower s

I’m still having my issues with architecture–why are its details so confounding to me?–so I decided to just experiment with my drawing and see what happened.  In the top sketched I managed to allow the trees to obscure much of the tower.  The more stark view without the foliage didn’t work as well.

foliage comp

I brought my colored pencils, intending to use them alone, but the combination of man-made in ink and nature in pencil was fun to explore.  I did the fence above the staircase to the bridge (long and steep…quite the climb on the return trip), and close to the Bronx side, foliage around stone steps, made mysterious by all the natural growth and shadows.

highway layers comp

All the layers of highways ramps made a beautiful composition of shapes; very difficult for me to reproduce though.  Paging the Jetsons…

sweetgum leaves s

When having trouble with the man-made, Mother Nature is always accommodating.

water bridge s

This simple unfinished sketch of the river view uptown may be my favorite actually.  The water appeared to be very green when looking uptown, but blue on the downtown side.  I’m sure there’s an explanation involving physics…

view upriver 1

Here’s a photo of the downtown view.  I often walk the Macomb’s Dam bridge, which you can see in the far distance, to go to Yankee Stadium, which is right on the other side in the Bronx.  You can’t linger there; the narrow path always contains many bicycles (not to mention strollers and shopping carts), so you need to keep your wits about you.  Also, the cars zooming by are not conducive to reverie.  But it’s a nice view too.

tower view 1s

The High Bridge, on the other hand, even has benches for earnest conversations (I sat next to one), or just for enjoying a beautiful September day.

You can read about it here and here.  And thanks to NYC Urban Sketchers for the excuse to finally visit.  I’ll be returning.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel

25 responses to “The High Bridge Is Open”

  1. Sand Salt Moon says :

    What a great opportunity to join the Urban Sketchers near you – and all of your drawings have SUCH CHARACTER about them. The first one makes the building come alive. I particularly like how you blended the ink and colors in the winding rail … and how you rendered the people by the fencing. I think with architecture (I read this in a book, somewhere) is the perspective and straight lines are the challenges (rulers, 3-point perspective etc. can help!). I admire how you went about it and glad you and the NYC crew passed paths and made a good thing happen. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks! I remember those perspective drawings from high school, and they do help. Not sure I have the mindset for it now though. So I’ll just keep stubbornly upon my current path.


  2. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    I have several favorites I can’t decide between! Love the first one and the primary colors in the rails too. The leaves tell their own little story and I adore the composition in that one. Love the way you combined your mediums too! What a great experience! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rebecca says :

    Wow – I especially like the coloured flyover!

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks, I like it too, even though it bears only a slight resemblance to what I was sketching. How do they even figure out where to put those on and off ramps so they connect? Another of life’s mysteries.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sharon Mann says :

    Kerfe, Your lively drawing spirit, at the moment, comes out in each drawing. Thanks for posting your process of urban sketching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      You’re welcome Sharon! It’s easier when you don’t expect perfection to just try different things I think. Anyway, that’s what sketching is about for me. Ok, “that’s what it’s ALL about” for me…(along with the hokey-pokey of course!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says :

    I agree, they are great.


  6. Teresa Robeson says :

    These are wonderful! I especially love the highway ramps and the leaves. Architecture is really hard for me, too…I tend to avoid it but maybe I should ignore my fears and try it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    These are fantastic!!! I love them! You’re worried about getting detail while I’m trying to get rid of it! Hehe… I adore the fluid lines and energy in these. Nice work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kirkistan says :

    These have a wonderful feel, Kerfe!

    Liked by 1 person

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