On their 100th anniversary, Grist is exploring America’s national parks and the humans who use them. See the full series.
When I lived in New York City, I frequently needed to get away from the constant crowds and commotion. Rather than heading to upstate New York’s forests or Long Island’s wilder shores, though, I’d get on the subway.
The A train, to be precise, rumbling beneath those parts of Brooklyn that don’t show up in Girls-variety representations of the borough, to the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station. I’d catch a local car service — run from a hole-in-the-wall across the street — for a ride over the Cross Bay Bridge to a beachside parking lot. From there I’d walk into another, more peaceful world, the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the little-known jewel of New York City and the national park system.
A bit of fine-print nuance here: The 14-square-mile refuge is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which rings New York Harbor and is run by the National Park Service. So it’s not a textbook national park. It certainly doesn’t have the cachet of Yellows... Read more