Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ice Yacht Expo at the FDR Home, Library and Museum

I won't be able to make it up to Hyde Park for this but I did want to share it in case anyone who lives closer happens to read this! The lovely folks at the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club are putting on an Ice Yacht Expo at the FDR Presidential Home, Library and Museum, opening Sunday the 21st and running through January 3rd.

On the opening day, there will be a reception at 2:00pm at the Wallace Center Welcome by Lynn Bassanese, Library Director Brief remarks by Historian Wint Aldrich followed by refreshments and an informal introduction to the Hudson River tradition of sailing on ice.

An indoor / outdoor display of classic ice yachts will run Dec 21- Jan 3, including FDR’s ice yacht “Hawk” and examples of other historic and modern ice yachts from the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club.

Where: Wallace Visitor Center and Roosevelt Library Lawn, 

at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Home, Library and Museum. Click here for more details.

Donations of a former life.

31 degrees, no wind. Would've been a nice day for kayaking, but it's also the 3rd Saturday in December, and third Saturday means drop-off donation day at the NYC branch of Dress for Success, a not-for-profit that works to "promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life" (lifted from their mission statement).

 I've had a closet full of business wear from my finance industry days for ages. I'm finally getting rid of them because a) I'm not expected to wear suits at my current place of employment and b) (more weight on this one, literally) somewhere in the decade-and-change that have passed since I last wore one of these, I stopped being a size 8 (go figure) and have no plans on torturing myself to get back down there.

They've just been gathering dust since 2002. Today I took a duster to the shoulders and packed 'em up in the dry cleaning bags I've been saving for the purpose. Off to Dress for Success - hope they can be of more use to someone else. They were pretty nice suits at the time, and since my tastes in business suits were far from flamboyant, I think they're still ok.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

More sad news - farewell, Half Moon

Not the same kind of sadness as yesterday, but I was still VERY disappointed to read that the Half Moon, a historical replica of the 17th-century ship that Henry Hudson sailed up the river that eventually came to bear his name, will be leaving us for the Netherlands in 2015. You can read more at the Working Harbor Committee's blog.

I suppose it's not truly bad news, at least not for the vessel herself. The report mentions financial difficulties and lack of a home port as reasons for the move, and perhaps she will fare better in the Netherlands. I'll miss her, though, her lines and cheerful paint always brought a smile to my face (and thoughts of Narnia to my mind) whenever I spotted her.

Photo above taken at a very drizzly NY Harbor Blessing of the Fleet in June 2009. Click here for more from that day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sad news from the world of children's publishing -

Sad news yesterday from Martha's Vineyard, which was just shared here at Scholatic via company email - Norman Bridwell, creator of everyone's favorite Big Red Dog, passed away at the age of 86. 

 Here's a link to a post that I did in 2013, when Scholastic celebrated Clifford's 50th birthday. That was an exciting time here; the official birthday was on Valentine's Day, which was when the original Clifford the Big Red Dog was published, but the celebration had actually begun the year before, because it was in 1962 that Mr. Bridwell had originally sent a set of drawings which included one of a little girl with a very big, bright red dog. Relinking today in honor of Clifford's creator.

 What a wonderful life to have lived.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last night's fun -

I had a very good time last night at the monthly gathering of the NY Ship Lore and Modelbuilding Society. Tugster Will was last night's speaker, presenting "15 Weeks and 1500 Miles on the Erie Canal", a talk about his summer travels as a deckhand/educator on the NY State Canal System tug Urger.

Will ordinarily earns a living by teaching English as a second language, but this summer, he was feeling in need of a break and decided to take an unpaid leave. Originally he was going to work on a memoir, but when he found out that the NY State Canal System tug Urger was looking for a deckhand/educator for the summer, he jumped at the opportunity. His presentation last night was a slide show of his favorite photos as they travelled the canal.

He's an excellent photographer and a terrific storyteller and it made for thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

Bowsprite was running the slides for him, wearing green feathers in honor of their recent trip to New Orleans. Oh, btw, it's probably too late for this plug this year but she brought some holiday cards with one of her designs and they are gorgeous - my NY harbor boating friends might want to stock up for next year! It was a big hit, too, not that I've been a member for that long, but I don't ever remember the studio being this packed. Fortunately they did have enough cookies (phew). 

Great fun, made me want to run home and rummage through my pictures from my own summer adventure again - well, maybe over my Christmas break.

Thanks for sharing your adventures, Will! Visit to read about Will's voyage with the Urger, and much much more.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On A Clear Day -

Another nice simple paddle today, this time with TQ - nothing fancy, no breaks, no brunch, no beachcombing, just out into the bay, around Ruffle Bar and Canarsie Pol and then back to the club. It was about nine miles and we kept moving at a nice clip, we're both feeling the overindulgences of the season and we wanted (and got) some exercise.

The day had started out a bit on the gray-and-gloomy side but by the time we hit the water in the midafternoon, things were clearing up beautifully and I took this picture of the Manhattan skyline from just west of Ruffle Bar.

Definitely click this one for detail!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paddling the Light Fantastic

Canadian photographer Stephen Orlando's glorious photos have been all the rage among the salty set of my Internet friends in the last week or two, and I can't resist sharing them here today. I've got a good cooking post planned but I want to go practice archery again tonight (I felt like maybe I was making progress last time I went, but I think that was at least a week and a half ago and I'm still very early on in learning so that's too long!) and the pozole post will be a bit on the long side to start in on after that, so this is the perfect chance to slip this in.

You can read a little more about the artist and his process, and see more of his photos, on - click here to visit. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Windy Sunny Sunday Staten Island Ferry Ride

Now boarding, 3 pm to St. George.

It was a lovely afternoon to be on the water if you just picked a big enough boat. Flickr album here. Enjoy!