I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 04, 2016 - 11:03 a.m.
I didn't start writing before the WFUV Question of the Day was over but I getting this in just before 10. It's the Fourth of July so I'm listening to the Original Cast Album of 1776. See I'm a patriot. We'll get back to that later. Now to tell you what I did yesterday.
Over a year ago the High Bridge reopened. I planned on crossing it then and never did. I thought of going up there many times and didn't. That's a reflection on my mental health; I could not get up the motivation to make the trip. Yesterday I did, perhaps I'm improving. It runs from the Bronx to Manhattan across the Harlem River. I'm living in the Bronx; you'd think it would be easy to get there. I'm not sure but I believe it would have taken less time to get there from Crown Heights in Brooklyn; I could just take the the entire way. As it is, it took me over an hour to get to the Bronx side of the bridge.
Yesterday I made a mistake. I foolishly said that the High Bridge was a former railroad bridge. That really made no sense. I knew where it entered Manhattan and there was no place to put a railroad there. The bridge was an aqueduct and the design was inspired by Roman aqueducts. It had been a popular walk in New York but fell into disrepair and closed in 1971 before reopening last year.
It's a bit of a hike from the subway but that was enjoyable So now here's my pictures from the walk. It's not as easy to get to as the High Line but I enjoyed it more. You get far better views.
One thing you'll immediately notice is that it's far less crowded that the High Line. This is July 4th weekend and there was just a smattering of people on the bridge; their loss and my gain. Somebody needs to use it as a setting in a film. It's a great place for a secret meeting.
My Father felt that this looked futuristic. That was the future from the viewpoint of the 1930s. It's still impressive.
The history of the bridge is told in a series of plaques imbedded on the surface.
I had seen the water tower my whole life and always wondered what it was. If you read the plaques, you know that where the pool is was once a reservoir and that's where much of Manhattan got its water from
The park is in Washington Heights and not the gentrified portion, the population is primarily Dominican. Those that can afford it fly to Europe or Hawaii for vacation. The with lesser means take road trips. The poor go to the parks. It was filled with locals celebrating the fourth with barbecues and music. I almost took a video of one group playing great Spanish music but it just felt too awkward to film them as if they were a sight to see. The parks that serve the rich, like Central Park are well taken care of with private funds, those that serve the poor are more vital but too often neglected. There is a downside to things like the Central Park Conservancy. It does wonderful things and I'm grateful for it but it lets others think the parks are well-funded when they are not.
I walked from the park to St. Nicholas where I caught the subway downtown; I went to Trader Joe's. The one on the Upper West Side was much closer but I prefer the Chelsea Store which is less crowded and easier to navigate. I did my shopping and then headed back to City Island. Oh I stopped for dinner across the street from Trader Joe's. I think it's called NYC Burger. I got the crispy chicken. It was yummy.
When I got home it hit me that there was no Game of Thrones so I watched one of the films on my HBO watch list, A Beautiful Mind. It might have actually been on Amazon Prime. Here was an Academy Award winning film about a mathematician named Nash. Can there be a film meant more for me? Yet somehow I never saw it. It was great, I gave it 9 stars out of 10 on IMBD.
Then I watched The Sarah Jane Adventures. I'm up to season 3. Season 1 was the best, Maria and especially her family, were better than Rani's. Rani's parents are annoying. Still It has a nice Doctor Who feel to it.
I have no idea how I'll spend the Fourth except for one thing, the thing I do every year, read the Declaration of Independence. I suggest you do the same. The point of holidays is to remind people of special things, this is what you need to be reminded of. The United States is far from perfect but it was founded on noble ideas that we should work to live up to. Here's a link so you can read it yourself, The Declaration of Independence.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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