9-14-11 Profit and Pleasure

Who will provide the grand design?
What is yours and what is mine?
‘Cause there is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here

We satisfy our endless needs and
justify our bloody deeds,
in the name of destiny and the name
of God

And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it’s like up there
They call it paradise
I don’t know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye

– Henley & Frey

I am currently reading an excellent book, The Hudson: A History, by Tom Lewis. A constant theme throughout the book is the conflicting impulses of people, drawn to the river by its beauty and the beauty of the land around it which they then promptly despoil in the name of progress and profit.

Control of the Hudson was the key to the winning of the Revolution.  We built West Point where it is because it overlooks  the narrowest (and one of the most turbulent) part of the river which means it can control all shipping.  The Hudson split the colonies. If the British had controlled the river they would have cut off the four New England Colonies from the eight colonies south of NY and the British could have assaulted either  with no possibility of reinforcements coming across the river.

NEW THOUGHT: Our good friend, Helena Starcevic, is an amazing ceramicist. She had a one-off exhibit last night in a brand new (and quiet lovely) model apartment on 23rd Street with what is referred to in New York Real Estate parlance as an “oblique” river view. Here is a picture of a mobile she has made with the view behind. Do check out her website.  She has a lot of exquisite pieces for sale.