News

Report: The East River Is A Hellishly Beautiful Ice Floe

Published On 02/17/2015 Published On 02/17/2015

Report: The East River Is A Hellishly Beautiful Ice Floe

Because I wanted to remember what it was like to feel something (anything), I went for a jog through Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday, just a few hours after thermometers in Central Park registered a 3°F reading -- the coldest temperature NYC has seen since 2004. Last month, when I hiked from Fort Greene to Soho in the "blizzard," I was blown away by the park's winter beauty. I figured I'd swing by for another look.

When I got down to the waterfront, I discovered that the East River was frozen over with massive Arctic icebergs. Whoa. Obviously, I took some photos -- check 'em out below.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

Inches-thick plates comprise the floe, which spans from the mouth of the river up to the Manhattan Bridge (and probably much farther, though I got too cold to confirm.)

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

As the drift ice hits the shoreline, it fractures into some really stunning shapes.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

At other points, collisions between bergs reduce the large plates to a finer ice slurry, which flows rapidly downriver.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

This makes for some truly surreal vistas, like this one shot from the bottom of Pier 1.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

And this one of the the Baylander, a retired US Navy vessel that saw action in Vietnam. By most accounts, there was less ice there.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

As far as I could tell, the floe -- which hugs the 50 yards of the river closest to the bank, but doesn't span its entire width -- breaks up well before the harbor. I saw the Staten Island ferry and several NJ-bound vessels running as normal, so I assume it's open water out there.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

Some of the inlets along Brooklyn Bridge Park are warmer than others. This one, by the old pilings, had the combination of mixed ice & dark water you usually associate with remote winter outposts, not the biggest city in the country.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

Others are frozen solid, like this one. No water can be seen through this frozen coat of armor.

DAVE INFANTE/THRILLIST

If you've got the gumption (and the insulation), I highly encourage you to go explore down by the East River. It's a breathtaking experience, and not just because the air is too cold for your lungs. Be safe out there, New York.

Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist Food & Drink, and has never seen anything like this. Which is cool. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

close

Learn More