Micro-scursion: What is that thing? revisited

It was a beautiful, partly cloudy day and I was off on a string of errands. One destination was Fairway Market in Pelham Manor. I’d been there several times for grocery shopping since I’d visited the “what is that thing” thing on an excursion in the winter. Recently I even made two coworker friends visit the thing with me before getting buffet lunch on a similarly pretty day. Today I wasn’t on a time constraint so I made a point of visiting the thing again.

As I drove around back to park, I thought how this might be a good (and more convenient than Jacob Riis Park) location if I were ever to take a friend to practice driving. The lot was nearly empty; there was only a school bus, two other cars, and an empty semi truck there. I pulled neatly into a spot near the mystery thing.

I hadn’t noticed it before, perhaps because of all of the snow, but a long strip of sidewalk surrounded by thin patches of grass runs all the way through the lot, nearly from the mystery thing all the way to the door of the unoccupied side of the complex. I sat near the “thing” end of the sidewalk, enjoyed the sun on my back, and stared across the expanse in front of me.

Back of Fairway’s building

After a few minutes I got up and got closer to the thing’s fence. On my previous quick visit with coworkers I’d appreciated how much closer I could get to it now there weren’t feet of snow plowed up around it!

I again looked for clues to the thing’s identity, which were hard to come by. None of the few markings on the thing itself revealed much. A cap in the ground nearby read “Well Monitoring Observation”. Could this be related to the thing?

Well Monitoring Observation

I walked all around the fence and stared up at the tall thing from every direction. I watched the sun duck in and out of clouds, shedding different light on the thing.

What is that thing?

I also tiptoed near the shore of the Hutchinson River. Here, its banks are held back by massive, vertical, corrugated metal plates. The water didn’t hold any answers about the thing, but I did see some partially sunken shopping carts and wonder about the circumstances that got them there.

Shopping carts in the river

On the other side of the thing, I heard the familiar rumbling of cars and trucks passing over a grated bridge surface. I looked over to see the double-leaf drawbridge I’d walked over on my previous excursion.

Bridge over Hutchinson River

I spent a few more minutes enjoying the beauty of the sun, sky, and weather; and the machines and objects of this industrial landscape – standing silent and restful on this weekend day.

With slight hesitation I made my way back to real life. I did my shopping, stacked the groceries meticulously in the trunk, and headed for home.

This drive is intriguing too – the curving Hutchinson River and Cross County Parkways wind through wooded, commercial, and industrial areas. By mere seconds I missed passing under a big, arched, stone bridge right underneath a Metro North or Amtrak train. I saw its tail disappear through the trees as I approached. Maybe next time my timing will be right!

Train bridge over Hutchinson River Parkway

Especially those who know me personally know that I seize these moments to observe infrastructure, no matter the time or place, in everyday life. These moments bring happiness and inspiration to my day, and almost always make me want to delve deeper and run off on a full-length excursion right away. (Posts on full-length excursions are coming soon!)

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