A Different Spread

Since the early days of the ongoing pandemic, various news outlets have published stories chronicling affluent New York City residents fleeing the metropolis for more spacious and isolated homes in rural hamlets in the Empire State or other regions of the country.  Continue reading

The Fisherman: Hudson Valley Horror

Last October, I read a survey of recently published horror fiction in the New York Times. The newspaper’s critic favorably reviewed The Fisherman by John Langan. After adding the title to my ever-expanding reading list, I promptly forgot about it until the university Interlibrary Loan Department delivered it to my office a few weeks ago. (To those who frequent libraries, remember that your local library can find almost any book through this service.)

The novel begins with its narrator (call me: Abe) recalling a Saturday fishing trip ten years in his past. Before describing this event, Abe examines an even earlier chapter in his life. After the passing of his newlywed wife, he struggled with depression and alcohol. Eventually, he discovered solace in a very quiet, old-fashioned pastime: fishing. Through weekend mornings passed on the banks of tributaries of the Hudson River, Abe accepted his loss and emerged to enjoy life on its new, unforeseen terms. Later, Abe befriended a coworker, Dan, grieving from the loss of his wife and young twin sons, and the two became fishing buddies.

Asher Brown Durand, The Catskills, 1859 (Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum).

Continue reading

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

My main summer goal is taking more advantage of the cultural and recreational offerings in Jersey City and the New York City region. After writing my post on Washington Irving’s relationship with Jersey City, I decided to visit Irving’s estate, Sunnyside, a National Historic Landmark in Irvington, New York.

Sunnyside, former home of Washington Irving. Another visitor can't help but snap a few photographs of her own.  (Photograph by author)
Sunnyside, the former home of Washington Irving. Notice that the Hudson River lies within throwing distance of the abode
(Photograph by author).

Continue reading