Friday, June 5, 2009

Hudson 400

"So we beat on, boats agains the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." -- F.S. Fitzgerald

I went to the Battery looking for the boats that are supposed to go up the Hudson tomorrow in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival. There was nary a sign. Underground, however, I found a hint or two. If you look closely you can see a half moon on the stern, but of course there would have been no European structures on the island yet when the Halve Maen showed up. On shore (that "old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world"), instead, the locals were probably saying the equivalent of "What the hell is that?" and "Uh-oh, looks like trouble" when the ship came into view.
This is the a recreation of the wall they found just up State Street while working on the new 1 train South Ferry station. Parts dated to the 17th century and marked the edge of the island, which fill has extended to the edge of Battery Park.

Meanwhile, topside, and over by Pier A, a detail of the Merchant Marine Memorial. If you read the memorial closely, you'll see the sculpture is based on an actual U-boat attack, and that the hands aren't going meet in the end.

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