Visited family and friends downstate in Rockland County this week. The county was my home for more than thirty years. I raised my family, worked, and volunteered in the community here. I watched it grow from a small, semi-rural place along the lower Hudson River into a well-developed suburb of New York City.
One of my favorite places down here is the Piermont Pier. It’s a mile-long structure that juts into the Hudson. The pier is located in the village of Piermont and is part of the Hudson River National Estuarine Reserve run by the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. It’s a great place for fishing, birding, and hiking. There are also places through the marshes where one can launch a canoe or kayak.
I’m well acquainted with the Hudson. I grew up in New York City and spent many hours playing in parks along its shores, walking along Riverside Drive in Manhattan and across the George Washington Bridge to the New Jersey side. These days I live in the southern Adirondacks in a tiny town at the confluence of the Hudson and the Sacandaga Rivers. Over the years I saw the river on the verge of death from pollution, then brought back to life by the Clearwater and other river clean-up projects. And two years ago I witnessed its rage when storms and Hurricane Irene whipped it into a frenzy near my upstate home.
The river, however, is a wonderful body of water that flows 315 miles from a tiny lake near Mt. Marcy in the north to the Narrows at the opening of the Atlantic Ocean in the south. But it does have moods. They’re powerful and I respect them. The Hudson is a living entity that can deliver grief or calm with equal bearing.
I spent a bit of time walking along the Piermont Pier on Wednesday morning. The day was sunny. Gentle winds blew across the river but the river was quiet. I watched the ducks, gulls and other birds at the water’s edge. I took a few photos then sat at the end of the pier and let the tranquility of the day and the gentle temper of the river fill me with serenity.
The Tappan Zee Bridge connects Piermont in Rockland County with Tarrytown in Westchester County
Photos courtesy of Joann Pensabene and Jim Pensabene