Looking back at the history of New York' waterfront, writer Nathan Ward shows that the city's relationship with its water has been primarily utilitarian.
"As our waterfront economy slowly faded, New York's piers became a no man's land, blocked off by empty sheds and bands of highway. In the latter half of the 20th century, there was a ghost town between landlubbers and the water.
But in this empty age lay the seeds of recovery. More than 70 years ago, when researchers from Manhattan's Greenwich House interviewed idle West Village dockworkers about ways to improve conditions on the West Side, these men called for the creation of 'opportunities for sane recreation.'"