Sunday, March 13, 2011

Appreciating the local sites...

The sun was shining this weekend and, after a Saturday of painting, I decided to take advantage of this spring weather and go for a bike ride with the hubby and girls... there's no rush on the cabinet painting and days like today are just too hard to pass up!

The wind was chilly, so we bundled up and decided to bike along Sandy Hook to a place called Fort Hancock. With the Raritan Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, it was quite blustery, but the kite surfers were making the most of it... I wonder if we could just strap a kite to the bikes... I know the hubby complains about the extra weight of the kiddies...

Anyhoo, riding around these beautiful old buildings, my heart was saddened by their state of disrepair. The Fort was originally set up in 1899 and included 18 Georgian Revival-style homes for officers and their families.

These beautiful houses have spectacular waterfront views and the sunsets along this six mile sand bar peninsula are amazing... and yet here they are crumbling... the beautiful grand doorways decaying... such a shame that these buildings can't be put to some good use.

This building, once the officers house,  is open to the public as a museum. 
With views of Manhattan from these golden beaches, the mind boggles as to why they haven't been developed???

One can but hope, though... reading in the local paper the other day, there were talks about potential uses for these grand homes, so as I rode around with the hubby and the girls, we chatted about what we would love to see them transformed into... restaurants, shops, cafes, guest houses... to see these derelict houses, once again bustling with people... but, this time around, filled with the vibrance of life and not the ominous threat of war...

Wishing you all a great start to the week!


  1. Those houses are amazing - especially in that setting. Hope they can be developed, as you suggest - such a waste otherwise. Have a good week! Abby x

  2. Hi Laura
    It is lovely to see the area which you live in - What a shame those beautiful buildings are going into disrepair, and what a lovely place they are located in. It was lovely here on Sunday also lets hope the rest of the week is the same.

  3. What amazing buildings, i would love to live in one with the views they have. I hope they don't crumble too much more before anything is done with them. Have a great week.

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  4. Yes, it is a shame indeed. They have so much potential, it's amazing! Over here places like those are developed in town after town, into unbelievably expensive apartments and houses. But also restaurants and cafés!

  5. Looks like a perfect day for a bike ride. I'd be your neighbor in one of those homes!
    xo Cathy

  6. It's so funny that I've lived in this neighborhood for 30 years and it takes a English/British young woman to show me the sites in my backyard. Thanks Laura :)

  7. hello lovely gal...
    i truly cannot believe that these incredible houses are a bike ride from your magic place!!
    imagine getting your hands on there a community around them...what if you bought that big dream possible- would you be the only ones there...would you want to live there?
    i am plotting a visit to the states...i have my 12 year old super keen on NY may have a baby sitter for us all to go to your local fave haunt if i play my cards right!!
    melissa xxx

  8. I love your photographs - you showcasing them here gave them a little love they were looking for :) Looks like a great day! XOL

  9. The fort in our area
    is also crumbling, but
    there has been a ground-
    swell to begin bringing
    it back to life. A
    brilliant example of this
    is Fort Vancouver, in
    Washington State ~ The
    Officer's Row there is
    really well-tended {lucky
    renters live in most of
    them, drawn by lottery}.
    Inside the fort walls, all
    the old buildings are in
    pristine condition: the
    blacksmith, the jail, the
    doctor's house, etc. Wish
    our snow was gone as I
    cannot wait to get the bikes
    out. Have a wonderful week,
    xx Suzanne

  10. That was a nice little tour around your neighborhood Laura. What a waste of such beautiful looks like it could be a great spot to eat and stroll around if someone developed it. Robx

  11. Looks like you had a great day soaking up that sunshine! You're photos capture everything so beautifully - Melissa xx

  12. Hi Laura,
    Indeed, what a shame not to use them! Hopefully your wishes about them will come true, it would attract a lot of people, again, to the area right? Thanks for the share!
    (sigh, it's cold at your side too, but at least you have the ocean...I think I might have ocean envy...)
    Maureen xx


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