European Travel

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hudson River Project

New York City, is a source national pride for me.  Our country's great metropolis, internationally compared to Paris and brimming with energy and power.  I love New York with its fantastic museums, beautiful parks, the Statue of Liberty, 5 star restaurants, Broadway Shows, Wall Street and the list goes on and on.  As with any big city, its origins tie in closely with a river.  New York's river is the Hudson. 
 The river is named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609.  Settlement of the colony clustered around the Hudson, and its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony.   The Hudson is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains.(Wikipedia)

Hudson himself, attempted to sail the Hudson (known then as the North River), but was unsuccessful.  After finally coming ashore, Hudson remarked, "The land is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life set foot upon, and it also abounds in trees of every description."  North Eastern United States is "home" for me, so I am partial to its climate, but I must agree with Mr. Hudson here.

As I watched this video of the Hudson River Project, I was struck by the energy of the city.  The city seems to hum at a higher frequency than other places.  The occupants seemed to take on this hum too.  The man in the film, James Bowthrope, seems out of place, like a person walking at a different speed, not invisible to the New Yorkers, but kind of a pale reflection of a past dream.   I really like this short film.  The atmosphere is so hopeful and innocent.  The music is perfect and colors the entire film with a sad optimism.   My interpretation of the project, and why I contributed, is here's one person who is taking a simple idea, hard work, a vision and making a go of it.  What better allegory remains of "The American Dream".  Furthermore, our "modern adventurer" keys in on three areas that I consider America's fatal flaws: wastefulness, ignorance our historical origins and the lose of our wonder at our beautiful country.  Unwanted castoffs are moving art as they invoke a memory of our spiritual vibrancy founded in each drop of that river.   When Bowthrope sails down the Hudson I hope people will see the metaphor and remember that it is not too late.

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