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As this blog evolves, I sometimes try to show what’s up in those hills, as seen from the hills like this one in March 2017, instead of

what you see in instances when then light is unfavorable.

Olana is the hilltop mansion above the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, built by an artist whose commercial success allowed him to travel, become inspired by the 19th century “near east,” and scrap his plans to engage architect Richard Morris Hunt and instead design and build a neo-Persian palace on the site where once he painted with his mentor Thomas Cole, whose home was just across the bridge in Catskill.

The photo below looks down the Hudson Valley toward the south.

This looks along the south side of the house facing west and the town of Catskill.  Kaaterskill Falls is lost somewhere below the front of the jet trail.

Looking out a south side window, there’s a northbound tug/barge just barely visible.

Directly behind me are these treasures.  Mark Twain–see his own house here— once stood on that stage and discoursed on all things wise, hilarious, exotic,  and jaundiced.

I used the word “treasure” above because here’s a closer-up of that unit approaching from the south–it’s Pearl Coast with a cement barge.

And now a more focused view along the south side and toward the Rip . . . Bridge, see the tug/barge there southbound?


It’s Treasure Coast, with another cement barge.  I know there’s a work of Church’s with a steam ship on it, but it’s so far eluded me.

Olana is just one place up on the hilly banks, and so other many places along the river I hope to visit . . . one of these months or years.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has posted Hudson Valley photos here and here, and in many other places as well.

As to seeing Olana from the river, here’s what morning light does,

and here below, late afternoon.

Go visit Olana some time in 2018, and while you’re there, visit the Cole home across the river..


for sale, in this case.  I’m neither the seller nor an agent for the seller.  I’m just the messenger for “a serigraph wall mural attributed to Carl G. Evers, a depiction of the busy part of lower Manhattan accurate to  1876.   It’s huge:  six 10′ by 2.5′ panels. It comes with  four more [with] blank background. A small limited run released by James Seeman, it’s  never been displayed and in perfect original condition.”

The contact person [Sara] can be contacted at, and says, “My 90-year-old grandfather has strong ties to the seaport area.  He needs to sell it. I’m trying to find a private buyer or a non profit or someone who may buy it to donate to the museum. His main concern is that he wants it to be appreciated and seen.  I’m hoping to find the right person whose interested or may know the perfect person or place.  And, you can request to see the piece at its location in Staten Island.”



For a video showing the entire mural, click here.   For more of Evers work, click here and here.

Gift hunting, anyone?

I’ve not seen the mural, but I hope it get a new home soon.




Chicago’s River and NYC’s sixth boro share features, one of which is efforts of artists to attraction flighty attentions to the water, and one hopes to the next step . . . realization of commercial possibilities of the waterways.

What’s this?  Here’s a start.

Here’s the next question:  whose head

is memorialized in yellow?

in duplicate and

why is this significant?

Answers later.  All photos by Will Van Dorp.




Happy September 3, 

and August 2

and  . . . well, someone’s vision of  the moment or a zeitgeist,






All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks that’s where a tension exists.


Here were previous installments of this.

These images are intriguing.  They challenge the brain.  Have I seen these before somewhere?

In a dream maybe?

These are on a building near the midtown cruise terminal.

But here  . . . recognize these on a building along the major avenue?

They conjure up historical Assyrians passing laws?

And this, a pensive monster or a befuddled one?

What context is there for a fragmented horse and human?

What provokes a playful crow and evolved wolf reading about fig or olive branches, or is it something else like an herb in a cookbook?

It’s all surely not comprehensible but

the animals in both places

command attention.  They may be shards of a half-remembered nightmare, or

parts of an undiscovered heritage.

Photos of a repositioning from NYC to Chicago by Will Van Dorp.


I’m told this vessel from bottom of keel to mast tops measures more than 8 feet.  Can you identify its location?  Here’s some more info:  “Marcus T. Reynolds designed the weathervane atop the center tower, a 400 pound replica of the Half Moon, which is 6 feet, 9 inches long and 8 feet, 10 inches tall, and the largest working weathervane in the US.”

The photo above was take in March, and the one below  . . . in February 2017.

It spins with the winds incessantly atop this building and will never make it to the major river less than a quarter mile beyond.  Know it?  It was built for a railroad and now it’s a university administration building.

Here’s a photo I took in September 2012 from the Hudson side.  The weather vane looks like a mere speck.  It’s less than a mile from the northern end of the Port of Albany oil docks.

And here’s the answer.  The source of the quote is here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has done many previous Half Moon posts here.


I love the drawing and the name on the flag.  You know the artist, of course?


That Essomarine stuff and staff must be magical.    Sam I Am?  Nope, Suess he was an oilman.  


Got $1000 for a copy of his rare Secrets of the Deep?  Here’s another rare one –at least I’d never heard of it until today–for under $18, and the power boat drawing comes from it.


No naval architect was Suess, but I’ve liked it for well over half a century.


It’s good stuff though.  You can find these images at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY.

Click here for SD posts 1 — 22.

I blame my dear friend Christina Sun for this post.  Well, “blame” is the wrong word, but I’ll use it. She started it many years ago with this post on her blog, a project which I believe is “under re-powering and life extension,” to borrow someone else’s phrasing, and needs some encouragement, although she’ll blame me now for speaking that.

I’m impressed by murals, official and otherwise.  Mayor Steven Fulop in Jersey City  has promoted this public art in the city on the west side of the sixth bor.  Enjoy these.


I like the wave here, but even more, love that copper sheath on the cylindrical corner to the lower right.  It reminds me of a firecracker, or old-fashioned “rocket of the future.”


Near FIT in Manhattan, folks were painting


these as I passed.


Here are some on 9th Street in Brooklyn in the block directly south of the Gowanus Canal.


Back in Manhattan, here’s one seen from both ends on the west side of the Maritime Hotel, a once-maritime related building that was left as on the high tide mark when the port receded and left Manhattan.




Upriver in Troy and under the Green Island Bridge, it’s Troybot, who in the third panel of four


appears to be saving a sinking passenger vessel.


Also in Troy and under the Route 7 Bridge, someone summoned the spirits of some exotic sirens.


This is a unique form of tagging, drawing on the algae-covered walls of a lock chamber as it drains.


Oswego invites its high school students in.


That Great Lakes city also has this mural about an event in another Great Lakes city that inspired this quite profound hymn.


Here’s a mural visible from the Cuyahoga and under a bridge in Cleveland.


Ann Arbor’s Huron River has never known these faunas, but someone still imagined them.


But it was in Montreal this fall that I saw the best murals, as on this wall, with a variety of influences.








This one commemorates an actress from the Beijing opera. Click here for the back story and the artists.


Here are some in Beacon NY a few years ago.




And this brings me back to Staten Island, and Lina Montoya’s projects, these over along the tin sheets screening off Caddell’s.




Philadelphia is where I first encountered the result of the city organizing a murals program. See some here.  I’ve heard about the Oakland project, but I’ve never been there.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, whose point here is that he takes photos of other things while focusing boat to boat.


In case you’re wondering if this blog has gone adrift . . . I’ll just plead solstice-ogling syndrome.  Why stay on course when a grape popsicle 1949 Mercury oozes by like this, and it’s tickling your tastebuds and it’s


for sale, although I did not ask any particulars.


Only at the mermaid parade could you get a photo like this, although the photographer here might


be photographing the Chevy here with a right angle spy lens.  Or maybe she was putting me in the frame?


Rattus rod!


I’d let this guy park for free.


Mesa sunrise on this mid-1950s Lincoln?


And finally, seeing this old Ford made me remember this unit from


way south Coney Island Caribbean.


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has now recalled that although Coney Island is surrounded (mostly) by the sixth boro, it is still part of Brooklyn.


Being in the low countries, I thought I’d ask around if meow man–certainly a sixth boro staple– had ever made an appearance.  And I thought I’d ask in places where I stood a chance to get a response.  Like Lelystad, a city of over 75,000 people at 10 feet below sea level.  My “Hey there.  Do you know meow man?” got this fang-baring big eyed response  . . .


Miauw man? Ik heb nog nooit van hem gehoord.”   I’ll translate word by word:  “I have ever never from him heard.”


At first I feared my red friend–figurehead of De Zeven Provinciën would catapult out of his enclosure, but he only pulled himself to an above-sea level-perch to ask his big friend . .  .


this guy, figurehead on Batavia.


And the big red guy’s answer was:  “Miauw man? Wie of wat is hij, dit miauw man?”  Word by word, it translates as, “MM, who or what is he, this MM?”  So the Batavia figurehead roared out across the sea looming over the farmland and asked this guy . . .


this really big guy . . . 60 tons known by various names . . . suggested by the pose.



And he said not a word, which made me suspect he actually knew something, had associations with MM, and was keeping the secret.

All photos and interpretations of conversations that really really did happen by Will Van Dorp.

Here are previous figureheads posts.  And what follows is a set of photos I took at the December 2008 boat show, all depicting the struggle-into-shape of Onrust’s big cat.






With mallet and gouge, Dave is truly a master sawdust maker.


Unrelated:  I’m not dedicating a post to names at this time, but I just noticed that Herman Hesse was entering port as Irene’s Remedy was departing.


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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


March 2018
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