Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pier 53: One Last Bow for Tom Sawyer's Island

Last Wednesday during lunchtime, I was lucky enough to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for newest pier park along the Delaware River -- Pier 53. I say lucky because it offered the once in a lifetime experience of legally walking out on to the pier and experience the vast potential of the Southern Wetlands Park. Tom Sawyer's Island, as it's been called, had long been forgotten and left nature to recover the urban landscape, and oh, it did just that. As you'll see in the pictures below, gnarled trees are more common than grass, driftwood lay in heaps carefully placed by the Delaware, and even the stone (mostly man-made) looked like something out of a far away lands, naturally weathered by the river. 

The scenes of nature were enhanced by simple touches of human interaction with the pier over the years. Throughout the walk, I was reminded that this was a place where people would come to get away from it all, to be left alone, much like the pier had been. The art left on the pier looked almost prehistoric at times -- repeating patterns, shapes, and colors. Given the serene, Fern Gully-like setting I was in, it felt as though I was encroaching on some sacred land that had suddenly been left for reasons unknown. No image portrayed the feelings Tom Saywer and pre-historic artifacts than the remarkable fort, compiled of driftwood, that centrally located on the pier. It's beautifully built and certainly a highlight.

I'll be editing these photos over time and posting them to Instagram. If you're interested in that sort of thing, be sure to give @Pennsporter a follow here.

For a look in to what Tom Sawyer's Island looked like in 2012, be sure to check out this photo essay. It's pretty rad.

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