Posts Tagged ‘Nyack NY’

Jolted: Suddenly recognizing movie scenes filmed in places that I have known or seen (or even actually been!)

April 27, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 27, 2015

As I was saying the other day, a few times a year, my parent and I and the beloved dog-in-residence will drive down to Piermont. We’ll park in the big lot behind the shops and restaurants and walk up Ferry Road to the end of the pier and back.

The view out there is great, especially from the large concrete platform where the pier ends near the middle of the Hudson River. A few miles to the north, the Tappan Zee Bridge reaches from Nyack on the western bank to Tarrytown on the east. The span carries a seemingly endless river of cars and trucks.

If it’s a nice day, there’ll be lots of recreational boats, often wind-powered, zipping back and forth. (You’ll also find plenty of folks fishing in the Hudson River from multiple points along the pier when the weather’s good.) In any conditions, you can watch the occasional chain of barges cruise slowly up or down the river; now and then, a freighter or two will sail past them.

At regular intervals, a silver MetroNorth caterpillar crawls along the rails on the river’s eastern shore, pausing at the Irvington station before continuing on its journey. And once, I saw kayakers cutting through the water on the pier’s north side.

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The river, the railroad, the pier and the mountains: Some notes on the picturesque village of Piermont, New York

April 25, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 25, 2015

A few times a year, my parental unit, the parental unit’s dog and I will pile into a car and drive to Piermont, a picturesque New York village on the western shore of the Hudson River a few miles north of the New Jersey border.

The community was originally known as Tappan Slote. In 1839, residents renamed the place Piermont after its most prominent, and newest, manmade feature — a roughly mile-long pier extending toward the deep center channel of the broad Hudson.

The pier, built in 1838, was meant to serve as the eastern terminus for the New York and Erie Railroad. Upon its completion in 1851, the line was the longest in the nation. Passengers and freight could transfer to boats for a 20-mile river cruise to New York City.

Once new laws authorized the Erie railroad company to operate in New Jersey, the brief era that some historians call Piermont’s glory years was bound to end. Passenger trains soon began traveling along lines that bypassed the community, which allowed them to save time on their journey to New York City.

Freight trains continued loading and unloading at the pier, but even this ended by the close of 1861. The railroad’s repair shops and other facilities were abandoned; ultimately, they were destroyed by fire.

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An unexpected lyric: A previously unknown (to me) Sinatra song suddenly summons nostalgia

December 2, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 2, 2014

Occasionally, echoes of my childhood home pop up at the least expected times — and in the least expected songs.

That’s just what happened to me around 2:30 this afternoon when I was sitting in DaisyCakes, a bakery in downtown Durham, N.C. The sound system was playing classic big band songs, one of which was sung by Frank Sinatra.

“Let’s take a boat to Bermuda,” crooned the man with the golden pipes as the song began. “Let’s take a plane to St. Paul.”

Nothing too remarkable here. But my ears pricked up midway through the next couplet:

Let’s grab a kayak to Quincy or Nyack.
Let’s get away from it all.

Quincy is a city of about 93,000 residents located some 11 miles south-southeast of Boston, Mass. One could kayak — or, more plausibly, sail in a boat powered by wind or an engine — from downtown Boston through the mouth of the Mystic River, pass Logan International Airport, take a southerly turn through the Boston Harbor Islands and proceed into Quincy Bay before landing at Merrymount Park in Quincy. I’ve never been to Quincy.

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