the good, the bad, the ugly

Bhakti Issa Urra
4 min readAug 4, 2023

We have had a home away from home in The Colony on Edgewater, New Jersey for going on 15 years now. Like many other pockets of haven wedged between busy city hubs it is being increasingly encroached upon.

love nature & do it no harm

After six months of quiet introspection in our provincial tropical island, our return to East Coast USA has been a brutal and harsh adjustment. Our once secret haven has been invaded by greedy corporate developers who have torn down our little quaint houses to build their ugly McMansions.

Hudson River trail walk — August 2023

This community began to take its modern shape during the construction of the George Washington Bridge, when day workers built their own bungalows on the remnants of a summer camp under the southern edge of the Palisades.

Hudson River trail walk

The secluded suburban neighborhood east of River Road has aged beautifully over the past century. Once a decidedly low-rent bungalow community, the colony has become a high-end cooperative holding some of the most sought-after homes on the Hudson.

trash along the trail, August 2023

Due to the establishment of Palisades Interstate Park in 1900, the colony’s homes remain the first waterfront residences south of the iconic bridge. They exist as rare single-family homes with unmarred city views.

trash not cleared on the Edgewater Colony trail

Today, some of the homes in Edgewater Colony date back decades. Others represent the latest in modern architecture. Weathered cedar shingles live alongside translucent garage doors. As they all cling precariously to its eroding cliff walls.

the house on this lot — then & now

Ginormous construction equipment and countless crews have wreaked terrible damage on our narrow streets. Invaded by countless outsiders from new high rises on River Road and Fort Lee, the colony has turned into a gated community with barred entrances.

the house on this lot then
the house on this lot now

Unfortunately this has not stopped visitors from trashing the place. They come, they party, they zip around in their noisy jet skis and speedboats, they leave us with their trash — abusing and taking what is not theirs to.

Even worse — the current community does not have the conscience to properly segregate or recycle its trash.

the house on this lot then
the house on this lot now

Residents’ complaints have fallen on deaf ears — with no accountability from the homeowner’s association, board of directors, management corporation, or company shareholders. The evident cost of commercialized urban sprawl.

warning signs put up

Are we evolving as human beings or have times and current challenges turned us into uncaring barbarians?

river trail stone bench

Humans and nature are meant to live in harmony — together and linked, not separate. We need to return to our true nature of being.

littered with trash

Paying attention to the changing phases and cycles of nature to keep us in sync. Honoring the space we take up and occupy.

Originally published at



Bhakti Issa Urra

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed