Over the Hudson from NYC lie the Meadowlands, a mix of industrial sites & wetlands—could it be a NP?
When you take a southbound train from New York’s Penn Station, a small miracle happens. After you emerge from the dark of the tunnel beneath the Hudson River into the daylight, you find yourself looking at a bucolic terrain of undulating grasses and meandering bodies of water intersected by monumental hunks of industrial engineering. The elevated portion of the New Jersey Turnpike bisects the landscape on epic concrete columns that look like something Romans would have built, and mysterious tanks and spindly steel towers pop up at regular intervals.
The slice of the New Jersey Meadowlands seen from the train window is an unmatched panorama of glorious incongruity. Robert Freudenberg, the vice president of energy and environmental programs for an urban research organization called the Regional Plan Association (RPA), used to commute from his home in New York City to a job in Trenton, New Jersey, where he worked for the Department of Environmental Protection. He’d take the train daily, and “there would always be this moment… I remember sitting on the train in those days, and every so often seeing an egret.”