Did you know that February 25th, 2011 was declared Friends Seminary Day by Mayor Bloomberg in honor of the School’s 225th anniversary? Well it was. Friends Seminary
Friday was wet. I was out on the river at the Boat Basin when the weather cleared a bit and the rain stopped.
and this amazing fog/cloud rolled in.
I thought I would walk up the river and shoot and if it did start to rain, I had my raincoat, an umbrella and waterproof shoes. At about 90th street the sky started getting really dark but, hey, I was only 12 blocks away from the 101st Street underpass and …I had my raincoat, an umbrella and waterproof shoes. At around 95th Street the wind started to blow hard (I found out later between 40 and 50mph) and I saw this…
and in about 30 seconds it started to rain…sideways …from the river. It turned out that my raincoat didn’t cover all of my legs and my boots while waterproof for puddles, snow, and regular rain had met their match. Luckily, it was blowing from only one direction and as long as I faced the umbrella straight into the wind it was able to protect the camera. When I finally got under the bridge I was totally soaked. It is now 24 hours later and my boots and raincoat are still wet through. But, my camera gear is all snug and dry so all is well.
Inwood Hill Park
Went back to Inwood Hill today to see what it looks like when we are not having a 20″ snowfall. I love this park. Took the walking trail that goes under the Henry Hudson Bridge – Henry Hudson Bridge – such a pretty bridge as long as you are not actually driving or walking on it. The lower level in particular is a truly odious entrance into Manhattan. Maybe when – if – the construction is finally done, it will improve marginally but I doubt it.
The Hudson Bridge actually spans Spuyten Duyvil Creek and not the Hudson. Spuyten Duyvil Creek
From the river side of the park you can see north past Yonkers and south to the GWB and the Lighthouse and beyond. There were still ice chunks in the river and black ice on the paths but you truly can feel spring around the bend. Nothing budding yet but the air feels different and the light is changing.
I spent about two hours roaming around then headed south to B&H for an excellent workshop given by Ariel Shanberg, Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Then had to meet my daughter at the doctor’s office. The school nurse thinks she has strep, the doctor thinks the school nurse is over-reacting…but tested her anyway. We shall see.
I really enjoy the city leaving up pieces of the old river. It is all ” designed” but it helps to remind you that the river has a history.
Hudson River Park Planning-Development
I attended a workshop at B&H yesterday (Thom Hogan -20 Minutes of Something Completely Different, plus 100 minutes of Image Deconstruction) and decided to get there via 42nd Street. This would allow me to walk down the section of the river that is most cut off to the public and to ride a NY Waterway ferry on a beautiful sunny winter day. On the NE corner of 42nd Street and 12th Ave (520 12th Avenue) stands the Chinese Consulate. Across the street, on the riverbank, a demonstration was taking place, small but a demo none the less.
This pro democracy wave that is sweeping the Middle East is trying to spread. Will it? Doubtful in this case but still inspiring to see. If only we (the USA) could get on the right side of history before the dictators are overthrown. (By the way, a new poll shows that 61% of US citizens disapprove of taking collective bargaining rights away from municipal employees. They see it as an infringement of civil rights – this in one of the most anti-union countries in the western world.)
Except for 6 years in SoCal (a truly beautiful, if deeply overcrowded, place) I have spent my entire life in the snow belt (including 2 years in Minnesota which makes NYC look like Miami) and so I am always amused when people whine about winter lasting a full 3 months (4 seasons, 12 months…h’mm that works). You would have thought that “Daddy took the T’bird away” to read the comments on my FB page, or listen to the conversations that I had during the day.
Today was hard. Usually when I go to the river it calms me, but so much is happening in the world that it all felt a bit irrelevant. Between Libya, where people are quite literally paying with their lives to make a difference, through the entire Middle East (Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia etc.), and then back home to compare that with our Emerald City where they are arguing over whether to make life harder for the bottom 95% (the democrats) or the bottom 99% (the republicans) it was hard to breathe in the river and relax.
But, as always the river had something to show me.
Winter was back with a vengeance today. Winds of 25mph+, temps dropping into the 20′s, and a few snow showers but that is all predictable in February.
Of much more interest were all the articles that flooded my news feed about the Atlantic tomcod population in the Hudson River. The tomcod is not a fish that I have ever heard of previously but I think that may have changed permanently. The links to the attached articles explain the situation much better than I can but, in brief…
As you know, GE spent decades polluting the Hudson river with PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls), which led to massive pollution and prohibitions on eating animals and plants from the Hudson as well as 200 miles of the Hudson being declared a Superfund Clean up site.
Apparently, over the past 50 years or so, the Hudson River’s tomcod has evolved through a specific gene mutation, into a fish that is unaffected by PCBs. Talk about evolution in action.
There are problems in association with this of course, because animals higher up the food chain have not adapted to PCBs and when eating the tomcod absorb the poison into their own bodies. This includes animals at the top of the chain who enjoy a tasty stripped bass, now and again.
\”Hudson River PCBs – Riverkeeper fact sheet
Today was the first day that kids and teens were all over Riverbank Park. Between the 60 degree weather and the start of President Week break – man the hormones were flying. Lots of folks playing basketball and teams practicing for the baseball season as well.
Riverbank truly is a great park despite being built on a sewage plant. I love its Amphitheater.
Jumped on the train at Grand Central Terminal (NOT Station) this AM and headed out to Yonkers. Grand Central is truly one of the wonders of New York City. Like many New Yorkers before us our family knows that if it all hits the fan and we can’t get home…meet under the clock! Grand Central Terminal. Ran into an unemployed friend on his way to a job interview in Queens- Grand Central really is a crossroad of the city – then pointed some German tourists towards the Times Square shuttle and got on the train.
Glenwood Station is situated in front of the beautiful, spooky, abandoned, Glenwood Power Station. Glenwood Power Station. It felt good to leave the city and start upstream. In the course of the year my plan is to get up to the headwaters of the Hudson at Lake Tear of the Clouds and today was the first step in that journey. Yonkers has several river access points but I chose Glenwood because of the Hudson River Museum. I went knowing nothing about it but thinking that any museum named that way had to have something to do with the river. The museum is housed in a modern building on a bluff overlooking the River and is attached to the old John Bond Trevor Mansion, built in 1876. 6 rooms are open for viewing.
It turns out that the Museum does indeed have a wealth of information about the river, set up for easy access and involvement. If you have children who enjoy interactive museums I strongly recommend a visit. The Museum also has a planetarium, a wonderful permanent exhibit “Red Grooms: The Bookstore“, and a main gallery. Its current exhibition is “The Chemistry of Color: The Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art.” If you appreciate art, by all means go. It is an easy trip from the City and the surrounding counties. Hudson River Museum
At this point the river is widening as it heads to Tappan Zee. Below the museum is a parking lot where local residents can launch boats or as they were today, barbecue their lunch, wash their cars, or just hang out and shoot the breeze. Lots of gulls and geese. You can see the George Washington Bridge as you look south and the Tappen Zee Bridge as you look north.
It seems to me that as human beings we are always trying to impose order on the random chaos that daily surrounds us. Much of what happens during a day, be it at work, school, home or out among our fellow beings, while logical in the moment, does not really make a whole lot of sense in the larger context of our lives. So we create a narrative to explain what we are seeing and doing. We tell ourselves a story to make our day, or our lives coherent.
So, here is my question. What story do you create around this shoe and this engine mount and engine?. Are they related or is it a coincidence that they came to the riverbank in such close proximity? I wonder what story or stories the owners of this detritus are telling?