Hudson River Revival
by Vermont Rice
On rejoining Ceres after a marathon rice planting session, I did not accidentally check myself into Sing Sing prison just outside Ossining, but almost! After exploring the Ossining waterfront a few hundred feet at a time for about an hour, I finally found the Shattemuc Yacht Club, our gracious host. It was no problem spotting Ceres’ one-of-a-kind wooden masts and brailed-up sails in amongst the jungle of aluminum and stainsless steel poles. I had just driven down from Vt to relieve our capable Acting Director Andy Willner for about a week.
Ceres’ crew, comprised of Andy, Captain Steve, Matt Horgan and Meade Atkeson had just finished some really impressive sailing that I told you about last post, including a delivery of a wholesale order to Cold Spring General Store by sail alone,
and had held a really nice market and a talk afterwards at Shattemuc, all of which I personally missed. What I was really sorry to miss but was happy to hear about was yet another mayoral visit from the mayor of Ossining, William Hanauer. We are grateful for the mayor’s expressions of support for our project, and for this statement:
We want to make the waterfront Ossining’s front door, not its back door
Our intention is exactly that — to help the water that built our region in a previous era to be once again a conduit of life and trade. And yes, we’ll be back.
After Ossining we headed back north to dock next to the Sloop Clearwater and the Mystic Whaler at Clearwater Fest. How to describe the weekend? The entire time we were surrounded by music, of course working like dogs moving and selling our goods and showing off Ceres to all comers. Hannah, Ashton, Tony and Matt Schlein from Willowell came to staff a booth at the working waterfront section, while Matt and Meade ran the market stall, and Steve wandered around talking to old friends. Of course in this last year since the last Clearwater festival the world has lost both Pete and Toshi Seeger so it was an emotional time, especially for folks like Steve who were close friends. So no coincidence that Ceres ended up there or that Steve is now captain of Ceres; there is a philosophical convergence between the work of the sloop Clearwater and what we are trying to do with Ceres that flows in all directions.
What next? Well, Manhattan of course. What else is there?
Before fans get too excited, please note right away that we have no viable plans to dock or have a market this time, although we may yet succeed in pulling something together small scale and last minute. It is very, very, difficult to arrange viable docking for what we are trying to do in NYC. It is as difficult in the city as it is easy in places like Nyack and Ossining. Each spot potentially available to us has either physical dangers to the vessel, high costs, daunting bureaucracy, lack of public access, or all four problems at once. Sometimes our project is viewed as being too commercial for the recreational facilities and yet too small-scale for the commercial facilities. Often being cross-categorical is to our benefit, but sometimes not so much.
There are still possibilities, and we are going to the city if only briefly to show NY and the world that we have not given up on them. Perhaps our visit will only be ceremonial in scope this time around. Look for Ceres off the west side later this afternoon!
Following that we are aiming to come to Nyack either tomorrow afternoon or wednesday morning, and I will announce details as soon as I have them!