Feb 25, 2009


Don't tell the Beaconites, but sometimes I wish I lived in Newburgh. There's a forest in the middle of the city, beautiful old Main St. (Broadway), authentic Mexican food, a happenin' waterfront with an indie movie theater, and amazing architecture. When moving to the Hudson Valley, we looked at a house there: a view of the river, a walk to both Broadway and the river, across the street from a nice, quiet cemetery. The slumlord selling it and done a number on it, though, and it wasn't livable.Sometimes I wish I lived in Newburgh because commuters who do live there get to take the ferry across the river to the train. What a gorgeous** way to start one's day! I know from swimming in the river and from sailing on the Woody Guthrie that the view from the middle of the river is even more stunning than from the banks. Bannerman Island and Storm King can host your hazy morning daydreams.
As I've watched from the train platform as the ferry got stuck in the river ice in the past days, I've even thought it would be exciting to be caught on that boat in that ice. Being on the river every day,* I think, would ground me here, in this place.
*Aside one: Years back I participated in an Act Up demonstration against Coke on the Chelsea Piers. Coke was sponsoring a party for AIDS activists, pretending their own African employees weren't being denied health care. Besides the protesters on the pier, we had a little boat with a big banner going back and forth in the river, podunk Greenpeace style. The people who owned that boat used it to travel to work everyday, from one Manhattan location to another, floating around the island. Amazing that people live their lives that way, on open water, even in Manhattan.
**Aside two: Let me explain my use of "gorgeous." My friend Ron was a recovering heroin addict and had his share of awful experiences. Every day was a big struggle for him, and that fact made him revel all the more in the beautiful, the positive. When Ron said "gorgeous" he drew out the word, bent his knees, leaned back, and rolled his eyes to the sky. "Gooor jus." Ron said, "I threw some candy on the pavement and photographed it. G o r g e o u s." When I appreciate something, I like to take the time to appreciate it Ron style. Bend my knees, make it last.

Photos are from wmbraine

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