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A big smile covers my face now.  Call me Jane (or Call me, Jane.)  Address me as “sixth borough president and historian” if you like;  I don’t cost taxpayers anything.

Three weeks ago just before I headed for work, an email popped onto my screen from Alexis Mainland.  She explained she does a NYTimes column called “New York Online” and wanted to profile “Tugster.”   The 30-minute telephone interview lasted for a fun hour, and Alexis Mainland’s good questions yielded a fine article here (already online and in the Metropolitan section of 2/20/2011 Sunday’s paper) .  If you read it online and wish to leave a comment on the Times site, please do so.

Since the article mentions some of my “offices,”  I pasted in this map; click on it anywhere to make it interactive.  You can follow Richmond Terrace starting westward  from the northeast corner of Staten Island, a locality called St. George.  The dotted lines in the water leading to St. George reflect the Staten Island Ferry route to Manhattan’s Whitehall.  Richmond Terrace offers great views of the Kill Van Kull, the curvy strip of water separating Staten Island from Bayonne, NJ.  If you follow Richmond Terrace to the west, past the Bayonne Bridge and Shooter’s Island, you see a strip of green on the Elizabethport, NJ side called Arthur Kill Park, another of my “offices.”

Seriously, the article gets it and takes the “sixth boro”  seriously, and I’m grateful for that.  I think it’s important that we be cognizant of  the seminal value of the harbor and its pivotal role in this becoming a metro area of 20 million people.  Out of 192 countries on the face of the earth today, 135 have a smaller population than metro NYC!

Last summer thanks to a passage to Philadelphia I made on Gazela, I finally read Harvey Oxenhorn’s Tuning the Rig.  Gazela fotos here and here (scroll thru).  Here’s a favorite section of the book, in which Oxenhorn describes an encounter with a Greenland family in Nuuk (Gothab), and he locks eyes with a young woman standing with her daughter and husband:

“When those eyes met mine, she realized I was staring at her.  She stared back and then began to laugh.  That got me laughing too.  My presence was a bit preposterous.  But not unwelcome; they had joy to spare.  Soon everyone picked up on the joke and joined in.  They laughed at me looking;  I laughed at their laughing while watching me laugh.  I laughed.  They laughed.  We laughed together until the reasons for the laughing were forgotten and the only thing that mattered was the pure free pleasure of it all.”

Doing this blog and getting your comments and support gives me that “pure free pleasure.”  And if you learn something from the blog, great because I learn several things every day from it as well.  And if you wish to  disagree with or add to anything I write, send a comment or a private email.  And I love it when you send along fotos or suggestions about posts.  Huzzah the NYTimes.  Huzzah the sixth boro!

Keeping with tradition:  here’s #57.  Remember, doubleclick enlarges.

Unidentified kayaks foreground, and middleground from left to right: Layla Rene, Sea Bear, dredge Florida; and background, King Dorian (misspell of durian?).

Unidentified crew boat heading away and Barbara C approaching.

Kimberly Turecamo westbound.

Elk River westbound.

Pati R Moran headed to an anchorage.

W. O. Decker passes W O tanker called Sharon Sea.

Sarah Ann and unnamed blue sailboat painted almost DonJon blue.

McAllister Girls pushing dirt.

More of the kayakers taking Lucy Reinauer‘s stern, making helmsman a smidgeon nervous, I reckon.

Falcon and Houma tandem effort.

Unnamed Moran tug leading Caribbean Princess.

Carnival Glory foreground and some unidentified tugs in the distance.

Sorry about all the unidentified vessels today.  Maybe someone can help.

Meanwhile, some stories from the NYTimes this morning:  disputed waters between China and Japan AND Seamen’s Institute leaves Manhattan for Newark.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

x

This morning’s NYTimes ran this art essay by Tide and Current Taxi‘s Marie Lorenz, featured here and here on tugster.  For fotos below, doubleclick to enlarge and reveal details.  MSC Voyager has traveled a long time and starred in many fotos.

The Times piece seemed to beg a response, really applause for Marie’s fine work.  A few hours along my place of meditation suggested this response.

NYC has its inaccesible places, which can be accessed if you really want.  It also has these transients, huge ones that  that steal in and out  at all hours, all days and seasons.

It has never been in New York’s best interest to be keep transients out, wherever

they might be

from.

Neither the terrestrial City nor the sixth boro could afford to be xenophobic.

All manner of vessels traffic the bays and channels and Kills,  and people the docks.  And the crews …. through this port each spending less than a day for unloading/loading, walk citizens of untallied identities.

Again, congratulations to Marie.

All fotos taken today before noon by Will Van Dorp.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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