Posts Tagged ‘Rivertown Lodge’

Letter From the Train 08 31 15 Ruminating about a long good weekend…

August 31, 2015

This morning, I sat on the deck, looking over the creek, fog wafted through the little valley in which the creek lies. The sun was hidden in the haze; the effect was magical. I read the New York Times and from the BBC app.

For the last three days, I have not written, wanting a little perspective on my world. I worked on my Emmy judging and my CINE Golden Eagle judging.

I strolled down Warren, noticing the new shops and old ones that seemed flourishing. As I walked, I exchanged nods with a few people who I knew by sight. It was a pleasant, warm evening, not too hot.

Arriving at the Dot I visited with friends there after perusing the new Rivertown Lodge opening on Warren Street, extending the gentrification of Hudson eastward.

This weekend was “The Travers,” a $1.25 million dollar purse at Saratoga. American Pharaoh was running, winner of the Triple Crown this year. That night, the word among aficionados of horse racing was that if any horse could beat American Pharaoh, it would be Keen Ice. And he did.

Saturday was running errands while Nick and his younger brother Mikey restacked the woodpiles and got the fountain working.

Saturday afternoon was spent on the deck and the evening watching movies. Up early on Sunday, I did all kinds of backlogged paperwork and stopped my desk from overflowing.

Sunday I lunched with my friend Alicia at Passing the Thyme, a little Kinderhook café that is closing in September. Alicia and I made plans to go there the final day. She goes frequently; this was my first time, to my regret.

Next to it is the Columbia County Museum. I was surprised to discover there was a County Museum and will go back soon to see what it contains.

They were good and mellow days, wandering the back roads of Columbia County, cornfields ready for harvesting, green fields that seemed to go on forever, people out on their decks or working in their yards. Rural America toward the end of a lazy summer, it was gloriously simple.

This morning I took paperwork to Columbia Greene Community College. If there are enough students I may teach a class this fall. Whenever I get the chance, I’m looking forward to it.

Of course, while I was relaxing in the simplicity of the country, the rest of the world was wrestling with all varieties of tumult.

IS used dynamite on another temple in Palmyra, this one built in 32 AD, to the god Baal. There is no consensus on whether it has survived or not.

More migrants drowned off the Libyan coast and 71 were found dead in a truck in Austria. The sense of crisis is growing all over Europe, a continent that feels on the verge of being overwhelmed by refugees.

The Greeks have called new elections. Trump is still leading the Republicans. In Iowa, two thirds of Republicans want a President from outside the government.   Hillary’s email debacle percolates all around her, a reality she is working her best to ignore.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, a 21-year-old African American, the first black man to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” on Broadway, died when he fell from a fire escape where he had been sitting with a friend. It is said he had an amazing voice; he was scheduled to be in the new production of “A Color Purple.” His death, so young, reminds me of the fickleness of life.

That fickleness of life seems remote during times like this past weekend when time seemed to stretch on endlessly and pleasantly.

My train, ninety minutes late, is roaring down the track, doing its best to make up lost time. I may make the dentist on time, after all.

Letter From Claverack Creek 08 28 15 Of anniversaries and other things…

August 28, 2015

It is a bucolic day here in Claverack. The temperature is in the mid-70’s and it is mostly sunny. I have spent a good part of the day on the deck. Yesterday I did my Emmy judging and today was CINE judging. I have more of that to do tomorrow because some of the links weren’t present and had to be restored.

As part of my continuing transition to life in Hudson, I went down and met with the Executive Director of the Columbia County Council for the Arts about volunteering, also meeting Dan, a member of their Board.

I’ll do something with them. I know I will need structure if I am going to be up here most of the time.

Then I meandered down to Relish, a little café across the street from the train station and had their legendary chicken salad on gluten free bread. As I returned, I needed to slow for a fawn crossing Patroon Street.

It’s been lovely to have had these two days. Down the creek, my neighbor’s dogs are playing in the creek. I can hear them splashing. It is so placid; insects are chirping and birds are trilling, the sun getting slowly lower in the sky, luscious green all around me.

I’ll go into Hudson in a while. The new hotel, Rivertown Lodge, is having a party for citizens of the city to see the renovation they did on what was a movie theater turned into a motel, now converted to a small boutique hotel. From there to the Red Dot and then home. A pleasant evening seems to be before me.

Ten years ago, Katrina was destroying New Orleans. I was watching it on CNN in New Delhi, in the Oberoi Hotel, sitting on the edge of my bed in front of the television screen and thinking this can’t really be happening. But it was.

Ten years later, New Orleans has, according to some reports, bounced back. Some parts have returned to their violent roots and parts of the black middle class has been lost, having moved to other cities and set down roots.

But that it came back at all is a miracle of sorts. There were fears in those early days that New Orleans would never recover its spirit, its verve, and all the things that had made it such a special place. I haven’t been there since Katrina but am thinking of taking the train “The City of New Orleans” or “The Crescent” down there one day and revisit a city of which I have many fond memories.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of a 14-year-old black child, Emmett Tull, allegedly killed for the brutal crime of a wolf whistle at an attractive white lady. It took a jury an hour and three minutes to acquit the two men accused of murdering him. The boy’s death did much to stir up calls for racial equality and provided an impetus for the Civil Rights movement.

Seventy years after the end of World War II, the Poles think they have found a Nazi treasure train. Rumors of its existence have persisted through the decades and now it may have been found. Wonder what it contains if it is a Nazi “treasure” train?

Politically, it has appeared to be a calm day. In the top stories, none of them were about Donald Trump! That’s a good way to end the week.