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The lightbulb in question refers to an idea that emerged in my head  . .  about some brilliant decoration in New York harbor (aka the sixth boro) during this season, holidays for most people.  I put up a survey just before Thanksgiving, and I’ll say a word about results at the end of this post.  Close-mindedness (or hypersensitivity) makes some sponsors nervous about calling it even a “container tree,” like Gloucester and Rockport have their lobster pot trees.  So last week I did a post called “Views of Outerbridge,” and then it clicked.     [end of preamble]

So this could be called “Views of la Liberté.” She’s French after all, and before Bartholdi offered her to the United States, he tried to get her set up in Egypt, along the newly-opened Suez.  She came to New York, and we’ve

surely adopted her.  And from a million points

of view, people see her.  They look for her.  She’s on every foto here.  My mother and father, when

they first arrived in this country as immigrants,  were excited as their ship passed in front of her on the way to the docks in Hoboken.  See her here between the mast and jib of Groenling.  My mother still

talks of her first view of the Lady.

Ellen McAllister seems headed in the Statue’s direction now to report her victory in the 2009 tug race.

I can imagine a mariner entering NYC for the first time–no matter which country appears in his or her passport–feels excitement about getting a view of the Statue.

Spartan Service orients with her.  The lady is secular, and in spite of errors and mistakes and blemishes, people from all over the globe

feel attraction to her, to this place . . . the whole continent, I mean.

Eureka:  the sixth boro does NOT need a seasonal light display.  There’s already one here, year round, lit up for night enjoyment by our tax dollars.  She’s in the harbor, for the harbor.  You can experience her from land BUT not as well as you can from the water.

Happy holidays!  Enjoy the light beams of la Liberté.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp except the last one, which I credit to Bernie Ente.  Bernie . ..  I love that foto!

About the survey, as of today, here are the results:  22 total votes, of which 19 thought the container tree idea was great.  One person said it was unfeasible (which it might be), and 2 others liked the idea but thought the “light display” should be something other than a container tree.

Here’s an invite:  if you have a stunning view of “Liberté enlightening the world” (her full name), send it along.  I might post it.  What I prefer are shots that put the Statue in the background, subtle, not dominating the view.

I’m praying for perfect light on Sunday afternoon when a public viewing of the barges is scheduled on Governors Island.  PortSide NewYork offers this downloadable guide to the barges, Red Hook, and its Dutch history here.  If you have a chance to get there, the details of these vessels will reward you.  For this month from an on-barge perspective, check out the blog maintained by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of Sterre, the 1887 tjalk;  although the text is in Dutch, the pics are great.

I’ve always been taken by leeboards (aka zwaarden), but I’ve developed a new interest in the rudders:  large and exuberant.  And it seems the Dutch themselves love the rudders, transforming a component that could be just functional to  Rudders with a passion for  . . . being rudders.  Notice the size the rudder (aka roer) on the 1888 tjalk Vrouwe Cornelia (Lady Cornelia).


And the decoration, which I offer to the readers over at Neversealand.


The rudder on Lemsteraak Sydsulver includes a boarding ladder and a flag bracket.


The rudder on Groenevecht dwarfs the tillerman.


And all that beautiful wood begs for paint and carving tools.


I’d like to know the various types of wood used in these rudders, like this dark wood on Groenling (green finch).


I’m looking forward to the viewing on Sunday not only for more rudders but also other details:  mast, rigging, houses, blocks, bowsprits, etc.  Check out the boom (giek) support on Windroos, the hoogaars.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Off to Waterford now.

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September 2022