Friday, April 26, 2013

American Dreams, and Boats, Can Break Your Heart

American Dreams and Boats

Boats can be heartbreakers, especially when the owner adds up the cost. Boats also afford a thrill, a sense of adventure, a chance to take measured risks. 

The American Dream can be a heartbreaker, too, when its fulfillment is postponed indefinitely, with no pay-off in sight. Some folks have given up dreaming an American Dream -- they think it's hopeless. My theory is: pursuing our dreams gives us a thrill. It's an adventure in which we grow. Taking the risk that it won't be fulfilled exactly as we envision it is a measured risk that's worth taking.

A beauty, still in its winter coat.

A gorgeous wooden boat. Look at those lines!

Same boat, different angle.

Same boat. The well in the cockpit is barely big enough for a few pairs of sunburned legs. But oh, the thrill of watching a sunset and a moonrise while eating dinner with the crew!

An historic house just outside the Fort Rachel Marina.

A former factory in Mystic, CT, converted into luxury condos with a view of the Mystic River.

You could look out the window of your condo to see how your boat is doing.

Another view of the condos.

I'd rather look out at my sailboat than a power boat, any day! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fort Rachel Marina and the American Dream

Is This Your American Dream?

Owning a boat means, every spring, you scrape the hull, give it two coats of marine paint, and then a coat of wax (ideally two). For some people, it's an American Dream come true. Here at the Fort Rachel Marina in Mystic, CT, the scraping and sanding is accompanied by the toot of Amtrak trains that barrel through on their way from Washington, DC, to Boston.

The tracks on the right lead to a bridge with a square bridgehouse on top (center). The bridgekeeper will turn the length of track that his house is sitting on closed, to connect the tracks, a few minutes before the train goes through. Then he turns the bridge open (the position the bridge is in now) so boats can motor through.

Take a break from scraping and sanding your hull at this picnic table, a few feet from the Amtrak tracks.

A lovely Boston Whaler.

The curve of the hull of Rally Point, a sailboat.

A shot of the keel, propeller (center), and rudder of the Rally Point. 

A rack of masts waiting to be stepped on their boats.

A sweet skiff. It's for sale! It does not come with a tree sprouting out of it.

Boatowners take one of these wheelbarrows to their car, unload provisions and weatherproof jackets into it, and wheel it down the pier to their boat.

A boat that reminds me of many happy (and sometimes terrifying) hours knocking around on the water.

Monday, April 22, 2013

American Dream: A Boat

In Search of the American Dream: For Some It's To Be on the Water

Some people dream of owning a boat, and some people's dreams come true when they actually have the means to buy one (and operate it). I wandered in Mystic, CT, in early spring and discovered the Fort Rachel Marina on the edge of town. Here was the physical evidence of dreams come true for many men (and some women, too, I hope). 

The first scene from the boatyard is the reddish sprouting of a peony plant, the promise of a glorious spring for landlubbers and sailors alike.

The entrance to the marina.

Lots of boats awaiting their owners. Some boats were being worked on, some might not get out of their plastic wrappers this season.

A house on a hill overlooking the marina. I think the owners of the marina live here.

A sweet sailboat whose mast has not been stepped yet. The shapes of boats are so interesting when you can see them out of the water.

A power boat for those too impatient to wait for the wind.

Somebody has a lot of work ahead of them to get this hull in sailing trim.

Some interesting equipment around the boatyard. This has a forklift on the front end.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

American Dream: A Job

My American Dream: A Job

Going to job interviews in New York City, I often take pictures of  happenings and views. I hope that my longing for this job search to be over gets transmuted into the pictures. 

A shot of the roofline of New York City, taken just before a job interview. I was nervous, that's why the picture is tilted : )

Juggling in Bryant Park.

The lobby of Bobst Library at NYU (my recent alma mater).

A bulletin board for NYU students in the basement of Bobst. Think of all the activities you could go to and learn from, held in all the interesting meeting spaces of NYU!

Outside, in nearby Washington Square Park, a man played Tchaikovsky in 30-degree weather.

My son and his friends from Costa Rica with the lions outside the New York Public Library on 
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street.

The trio from Costa Rica with an American icon.

Times Square truly is the crossroads of the world. The artist was from China. What do you think of the likeness of Abraham, from Costa Rica? 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

American Dreams in New York City

Please forgive me -- I only know the exact location of the first shot -- the rest are from different trips into the city and I don't recall the addresses. But they're still informative pictures, don't you think?

I stole a shot of the U.N. building on the far east sided, First Avenue at 46th Street. It's a place to dream of peace, especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom (soon!).

NYU territory in the Village -- I like the carved doorway. This student is perhaps dreaming of conquering New York City on the stage, in the literary world, or in politics.

A bookshop somewhere in midtown. Dreaming of owning a rare book, anyone?

An ancient cemetery -- well, ancient in American terms, not European terms. 

A gothic church. I'll do better next time and give you the exact location so you can visit these sites for yourselves. Do you forgive me for losing track of the address? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

American Dreams of Leisure

Leisure, Taken on an As-Needed Basis

Don't we dream of leisure time? Many of us must take it in small chunks, which perhaps makes it all the richer.

Here's a preview of spring in the Great Swamp, taken on a leisurely stroll through the Somerset County portion of the swamp.

Couldn't be more rustic, could it?

A boardwalk disappearing amongst newly leafed-out trees. Love the chartreuse!

The path beckons on, and then on some more...

Just like the twists and turns of life...

Wish I could tell you the names of these flowers...Anybody know? Post a comment!

Another crisp white flower.

Violets, New Jersey's state flower (can you see Governor Chris Christie 
wearing a boutonniere of them?) mixed with unidentified white stars.

Boardwalk through a marsh. These paths just pull me along...