Head Swimming on the Hudson

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The crew team at New York’s Marist College came across a puzzling sight this week when a large, foam head, floating in the Hudson River, crossed their path toward the end of their morning row.

While on the river Monday morning, crew coach Matt Lavin was the first to spot the mysterious 7-foot-high, fiberglass-c0vered head, which is 4 to 5 feet wide. The ominous sighting gave the coach pause, and he had his team stay back as he approached to investigate.

Where the head came from remains a mystery. Some theorize that it’s wreckage from a Mardis Gras float that washed away during Hurricane Katrina eight years ago. While others think that some similar decapitation occurred during the more recent Hurricane Sandy. Nevertheless, it’s always handy to have a local mystery or two around to fill in slow news days and desperate blogs.

via Yahoo! News

Increased Security Contradictions

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Note: This was originally posted 08/18/2008, but I thought it would be of some relevant or digressive interest today; a reason for my cynicism over heightened security.

In 2007, six years after the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD was set to introduce advanced radiation detectors to protect the city. These are small devices which specially trained police would carry in knapsacks to patrol prime terrorist targets. Named the “KO Kit” after their developer Detective David Kao, the detectors were to be complemented with isotope-identifying gear that have a wider range of detection than those currently in use by the police.

With the NYPD in its high-tech groove, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was proposing an entire shebang of explosives detectors and security cameras installed throughout NYC. In addition to this, a special fleet of helicopters were to be outfitted with license-plate reading equipment and various networks of radiation detectors were to be set-up at the city’s ports and roadways.  New York Post (06/07/07).

This was the story last year and many of the proposals are apparently now being implemented by the NYPD…all of this is fine and dandy, but….

While this is going on down here, to the north of the city at four nuclear reactors, National Guard troops who had stood guard since 9/11 are being withdrawn this summer. According to Eric Durr, a spokesman for the state Division of Military and Naval Concerns, there “wasn’t any money in the state budget for keeping the troops at nuclear power plants.”  The National Terror Alert

The Indian Point nuclear reactor, one of the four reactors in this state, stands less then forty miles up the majestic Hudson River. If a paramilitary group of terrorists were to gain access to this reactor, the future of NYC would be…well, rather shitty. A matter of concern for decades, accusations of lack security (even nonexistent security) and other unsafe conditions, Indian Point is viewed as the greatest threat to the city…with or without terrorists being around. At least 100,000, within a ten to forty mile radius, could die as a result of radiation poisoning if something untoward were to occur up there: the Chernobyl of the USA.

However, it’s a great time to be in the security business: there’s always a buyer, at equitable rates of exchange, for one’s high-tech products while allowing for much clearer and present dangers to take care of themselves.

That Old Time Campaigning

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Politics has forever been the skillful blend of sense and artifice; but it’s delightful to see Governor Cuomo give us New Yorkers a humorous take on the old abracadabra. Drawing inspiration from William Jennings Bryan (a master of distinguished rhetoric without substantive purpose ), Cuomo designed his work in the manner of Bryan’s presidential campaign poster of 1900.

And for this holiday season, Mr. Cuomo commissioned a reinterpretation of the classic poster, representing what he sees as his own battles as governor. The octopus is now a sea monster, writhing in the Hudson River, with three heads, labeled corruption, bureaucracy and apathy. Swimming in the river are striped bass (a nod to Mr. Cuomo’s affection for fishing), and a truck passing by bears the message “NY Yogurt: World’s Best” (a reference to the governor’s advocacy for the state’s fast-growing Greek-style yogurt industry).

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A campaign poster from William Jennings Bryan’s 1900 presidential bid.

Such posters were the “televised ads” (sans television), the “radio sound bites” (sans radio), of their day; serving to catch the attention of prospective voters before their common sense would take hold. Then again, these posters were arguably much more imaginative and much more colorful than most of the dazzling dissonance of today’s high-tech sound and fury.

Source: {read more} NY Times

Come On In, The Water’s Fine

To Shannon MacDowell, the Hudson River isn’t a gross cesspool, it’s a body of water New Yorkers should embrace.

The 25-year-old Alaska native views the water as an integral part of the city — something that she learned when she began to stand-up paddleboard on it last year. DNA Info

This is the sort of enticement that would make any guy want to “embrace” the Hudson. I’d jump right in (I may be old but I can still swim). Henry never had this kind of fun when he took his cruise up here.

On The Town

Alessandra – Williamsburg Bridge

Sara – New York City subway

Violeta – Hudson River Park

Violeta – Lincoln Tunnel

Helen – South Beach

Gaby – Gantry Plaza State Park

Rebekah – Williamsburg

Sara – Soho

Source: Ballerina Project–Tumblr

What’s The Buzz! Where’s The Bursting in Air!

This Is How Many New Yorkers Saw The Fireworks Last Night

From Gowanus

Phot by Ryeofthetiger

From a 4th floor walkup in Park Slope. Photo by Erin S. [I wonder who she is!]

From Greenpoint. Photo by Valerio Bruscianelli

Last night, for the fourth year in a row, Macy’s held their 4th of July fireworks display over the Hudson River, a display that many New Yorkers—particularly residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and the east side of Manhattan—cannot see. Prior to this year’s event, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced their online petition to bring the fireworks back to the East River—something even Mayor Bloomberg favors, at least on alternating years. {read more} The Gothamist

After a short while, my wife and I gave up and went inside to watch Nicholas Hytner‘s film The Madness of King George; a much cooler, thought-provoking experience.

Kayaking Commutes

Why be bothered with life’s more conventional modes of transportation from New Jersey to Manhattan when you can kayak to and fro? Zach Schwitzky and Erik David Barber of Hoboken felt that they were too dynamic for vehicular crossings by way of Hudson River bridges or tunnels and decided on their quite unique if more direct option.

The digital media entrepreneurs travel about a mile on the river to get to their office in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan, a trip that takes close to a half-hour.

They dock the kayaks near their office on West 37th Street and walk the rest of the way, amid the cacophony of daily life in New York — the beeping and the honking and the whirring.

Sometimes they bring the watercraft to their office. Even to jaded New Yorkers, it’s quite the sight to see a pair of men carrying kayaks down the street. (read more NJ.com)

Yes, indeed. More and more (especially well-heeled) citizens of the metro-New York area are apparently doing their own thing in their own time. Insofar as commuting is concerned, yesterday it was bicycling or roller skating to work. Today’s it’s kayaking. Who knows? Tomorrow it may be commuter flights via hang-gliders with arrivals and departures through office windows. The city is becoming one big happy corporate playground.