Spite The Devil

Spite The Devil


Swing bridges are cool.

This is the Amtrak Bridge that crosses Spuyten Duyvil Creek. Depending on your source, and perhaps depending on pronunciation, “Spuyten duyvil” variously translates from Dutch as “Spouting Devil,” “Spewing Devil,” “Spinning Devil”, “Devil’s Whirlpool,””Spitting Devil,” “Devil’s Spate,” or my favorite, “Spite the Devil.” Hundreds of years ago, before a lot of work by very many engineers, these waters were not so calm. Anybody who tried to cross, sometimes by boat and sometimes by swimming, did so at considerable risk, and either in spite of or specifically to spite, the Devil.

I drove up here recently on a Saturday evening to one of the southernmost tips of the Bronx to shoot this location. I arrived way too early, and took some shots that are wholly forgettable due mostly to a flat, grey, murky sky. I left this immediate spot and walked around for about 30 minutes or so, and when I came back towards the shore I was rewarded with at least some parting of the clouds and a bit of interesting light.  I scrambled to get back down to this spot, which is actually a train platform on the Metro North Hudson line, and the sunset was still just hanging on with enough color in the sky to add some drama. This might be a spot I need to revisit, particularly on a day with better skies.

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