So we came back to NYC today. Arrived late evening (11ish) and since we had been in Mexico we ordered rice and beans and chicken delivered.
On the plane I thought a lot about the “folk” art people make on the Hudson. It is there for a day or three and then time, tides or other people destroy it. Here are a few examples. Remember – if you click on the picture you get a full sized version.
I love the street art that people make by the river…I believe these two examples may be by the same person but…who knows.
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
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.
I took this image this morning not knowing how appropriate it would seem after watching Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood play the Macbeths in Rupert Goold’s filmed adaptation of the 2008 stage production of Macbeth which has just been released on Netflix and DVD. Macbeth -PBS The interpretation is very much focused on the internal needs and lives of the leads and the bitter coldness and power of their imaginations and the society they create. Both performances are extraordinary as are the performances of most of the supporting players, especially Christopher Patrick Nolan as the Porter, Michael Feast as Macduff, and Martin Turner as Banquo, and I cannot recommend this film enough.
Ah, okay boss, but what does this have to do with the Quotidian Hudson? The power of the mind. Yesterday was a lovely, spring like day. Today was very February. It was not a special day, cold but nothing extreme, windy but not excessive. We have had many worse days as recently as last week but everyone on the river was grim. The runners looked pained, the dog walkers (but not the dogs) looked unhappy and were complaining.
Why? Well, I would suggest it is because we are human beings, we are very adept at adapting and utterly brilliant at developing false ideas. I can’t tell you how many people told me yesterday that it could hit 60 degrees on Friday and so…it only stands to reason that if it is 56 on Monday and will be 60 on Friday then all the days in between must be similar and indeed, (Hosanna!) winter is gone! No more freezing days, no more ice on the path. Why? My mind has decreed it so!
It felt so great to be walking the river with no sweater, no parka, no gloves. The wind was ripping and the river was full of whitecaps but it was still over 55 degrees!. Tuesday the temperature drops again but we got a taste today.
I was walking in the area between 42nd Street and 79th Street. The change in the riverbank is extraordinary there. You start in a true urban mess of fences and gates and restricted access and then, boom, at 55th Street it opens up into Hudson River Park.
I stopped at Pier 96 and spent a goodly amount of time admiring “Private Passage” by Malcolm Cochran, http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/education/private_passage.asp. Pier 96 is also one of the launching areas for free kayaking in the summer
There were a significant number of couples out in Hudson River Park today, all giddy with the weather, and it seemed as if almost all the young women had stuffed animals of some kind, mainly bears…is this a new cult I am unaware of?
I then walked north and came to the Homeland Security/Sanitation block and was blocked from the river again, this time by guards and garbage trucks but around 61st Street it all just opens up and you can get to the river, there are picnic areas and walkways and suddenly citizens are as welcome as government employees. I walked north and came off the river at 79th Street because I needed to get my glasses tuned. A prosaic, but really necessary, end to the Quotidian Hudson day.
I have decided to try my daughter’s suggestion and see how it feels. Today we will have 3 pictures. Thoughts?
Damn it was cold today. You would think it was winter. I had planned on touring the Greenpeace Boat at Chelsea Piers but it was not open to the public. I will go tomorrow.
It almost felt like spring today. 40 degrees at 7:30am, snow melt on the bike path, many people out running, biking – no roller bladers or boarders yet though - still a number of people hit the black ice and went down. Of course there are ancillary effects to all this melting. Flotsam and jetsam (and worse). So far I hve focused on pretty – time to see the “other side” of our river. As people we find it hard not to leave our mark…
Just a reminder – click on the image for a larger view.
A warm and sunny day. 2pm above the Hudson River. The plane flew, very slowly, from the Harbor to the George Washington Bridge on the New York side of the river than turned and came down the New Jersey side.