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Gantry Park Esplanade Gets New View into East River

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 4, 2012 6:59am

HUNTERS POINT — It's a new way to look at the East River.

Gantry Park, one of the most popular spots in Long Island City, is giving people another reason to stroll down to the waterfront   — a hole cut in the middle of the esplanade that allows people to look at the river flowing below.

The park, which already offers stunning views of Manhattan, also has a new colorful playground, a state-of-the-art water sprinkler for children, and comfortable wooden chaise lounges placed along the esplanade.

Once it opens, the portal will be about 10 feet wide. 

“You will be able to look down and see the water splashing below,” said Bill Bylewski, vice-president of Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks, a volunteer group that helps keep the area clean.

“It will make the park more interesting and will make you aware that you are on the platform over the river.”

A spokeswoman for the Empire State Department, which maintains this portion of the park,  noted that the cut-out in the esplanade "will be brightly lit from below."

"Once complete, it will provide a viewing station — and lovely view — of the river flowing below," she added.

The opening is currently fenced off because a safety railing has not yet been installed.

The area of the esplanade with the portal is located at the northern tip of the park, one of the last portions still not accessible to the public.

A section along the Anable Basin also remains closed because TF Cornerstone is constructing a building there.

“The last bit of the park probably won’t open until sometime next year,” Bylewski said.

The park, which opened more than a decade ago, started to draw more people in 2009 when an expansion almost doubled its size.