The images above were taken less than ten minutes apart by yours truly as I stood by the Hudson River , last evening, awaiting the fireworks. You may notice, dear reader, the pinkish-red colored line (where the black arrow is pointing towards) in the top photograph, but you may not recognize it to be a fishing line, which indeed it is. It belongs to a fishing pole that was leaning against a railing that separates the Hudson River (on the west side of New York City), and what has become to be known as "the westside greenway" (as it is a well worn path for joggers, cyclists and plain ol' walkers along the river).
The Westside Greenway is often filled with many, many folks taking part in the aforementioned activities, and last night, July 4th 2011, the well worn path was filled with throngs — and I do mean throngs — of people who had lined up along the Hudson River just a few yards south of The Seventy-Nineth Street Boat Basin to see the Macy's Fireworks, in spite of the headlines that the sensation, though it was being fired from six barges, would not be visible above Fifty-Ninth Street. Apparently, some 4,000 folks, including yours truly, don't believe everything we hear, or read, because there we all stood on the well-worn path to view annual fireworks, or, in the case of a so-called gentleman next to me, to fish for eel in the murky waters of the Hudson River, ignoring signs that say "fish caught in this spot should not be consumed by pregnant women or women who are at a child-bearing age", and ignoring the fact that folks were clamoring for the spot where his poles and boxes of tackle took up the space where they'd come to see a once a year thirty minute (at the most) event, and that is why he is only a so-called gentleman, for he did nothing to make way for anyone, ignoring everything around him, including the jiggling of his pole with its shrill bell indicating he had caught something.
The crowd though did not seem to be patriotic minded; there was no mention of the fact that it was Lady Liberty's 125th birthday, and no "oohing" or "ahing" at any of the fireworks. It seemed we were all lulled by the river instead, calling to my mind a quote by John F. Kennedy which is this:
"All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came."
Spectacular as the Macy's Fireworks are deemed, nothing competes with "Old Man River"; Paul Robseon is right, "he just keeps rollin' along . . . "