Get America Working Again

I loved seeing this during the past week as I went back and forth on the Tappan Zee Bridge:

2014-06-22 08.27.36 2014-06-22 08.28.03 2014-06-22 08.28.16 2014-06-22 08.28.30Construction cranes! About 20 or more of them spanning the length of the bridge, pounding pylons into the riverbed as the opening phase of building a bridge to replace the iconic Tappan Zee Bridge.

Why is it so wonderful to see?

I live in Asia, and construction crane is as common as street-side noodle vendors. They are ubiquitous. Not so much in America.

Granted, some of that speaks to the level of development that the USA has already achieved. It’s firmly a stage 5 economy while many of the southeast Asian economies that I witness daily are playing catch up.

But I firmly believe that America needs to move forward and think big. We have been plateaued for far too long. Too many people flipping burgers and flipping hedge funds and far too few people dreaming, innovating, and constructing large projects.

Let’s take advantage of our talented and skilled workforce. Let’s take advantage of the boon in gas reserves. Do we really want to be dependent on Middle Eastern oil? Really? Haven’t we learned the nature of the fragile ties of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc …

It’s time to put America back to work, so I am all for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge. Let’s keep it going.

 

 

Visiting the Hudson River Valley

New York City is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. With broadway, stunning museums, a diverse food scene, and fascinating historical and cultural sites at every turn, New York is a must-experience destination.

However, how many people experience the beautiful, lush Hudson River Valley just north of the city? If you haven’t, it’s a must.

My alma mater is in the beautiful and quaint village of Nyack, just 18 miles north of the city where the river widens spreads out like a shimmering lake sided by rolling forested hills. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Here’s a view of the region from my former dormitory:

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Nyack is a quaint town which is lined with wonderful restaurants, antique shops, and two of the best authentic NY pizza joints anywhere!

Right across the river from Nyack is Tarrytown, home of Sleepy Hollow, the inspiration of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Other must visit sites in the Hudson Valley Region include FDR’s home, the Vanderbilt Mansion, and, of course, West Point.

So the next time you are in the city, head north for a day and experience the beautiful Hudson River Valley.

Life on the Hudson: A Description

I wrote this last summer as I was taking in the views of the Hudson River just north of New York City. It was a descriptive writing exercise. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

A majestic brick manor sits high on the banks of the Hudson River at the Tappan Zee – the broad river expanse – miles across – which spreads the Hudson like a lake – wide and proud commanding the sight line of all who stand above it.  The house is red brick, with white, oak trimmed windows and porches – the river-facing porch upheld magnificently by two solid pillars of oak, round and smooth – near obelisk-like, except for the shingled roof which connected the two with a wide, angled canopy. Three stories with enough rooms to hold many stories of their own, the mansion is nestled between assorted fruit and hardwood which shields it enough from the wind but still affords it a splendid view of the water below.  Four chimneys reach high from the four corners of the house reminding one of intimate talks and treasured moments on the bearskin rugs beside the crackling embers.

Over the bank, on the cusp of the river sits a white, wooden gazebo, intricately carved, replete with matching white benches attached directly onto the sides, slotted with smooth, rounded spindles spun meticulously on the lathe of a splendidly skilled carpenter.

The gazebo sits on the edge of a long wooden dock which juts straight out into the pale, stagnant rim of the river.  The dock affords a lovely spot for a picnic lunch, a short paddle excursion to the beach or a place exquisitely designed for pondering the remarkable beauty of the Hudson River Valley.

If a certain writer with a penchant for pondering would sit, feet dangling, pen and paper in hand, waiting for the muse to come, what would he see?

A vast, sparkling sea, slow moving, half glittering with shiny shards of light flickering quickly back and forth.  A darker, shadowed portion, water exposed to the shielding of the hill behind it which covers its light from the early morning sun.  A single boater, paddling long and swiftly, leaving a lonely line on the smooth canvass, not unlike that of a jet leaving its mark across the blue empty sky.  A swift moving train, clinging to the distance shore, moving steady and quick, like a row of ants, purposeful, pushing, a slow moving bullet in a straight line, barely above the shimmering reflection of the water, almost as if it too is gliding on the water like a chain of floating boxes.

An expanse above in sky blue.  An expanse below in jittering light – dark and bright.  A forested hill in the distance separating the two.

This is life on the Hudson.