Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Figment of Your Imagination

Last Saturday Robert, Jeff & I paddled to the Figment event on Governor's Island. It was a gathering of hundreds of artist, including performance artists. Most of the art works were interactive and let you participate, by either banging on drums, drawing or writing with chalk, rearranging sculpture pieces, etc.

Earlier in the week Robert, always looking for documentary material, contacted the organizers to inquire how they chose participants. They didn't choose them, anyone who asked , was allowed to participate. So you might guess that the level of artistic ability was low. And you would be right. Not to say that there wasn't the occasional amazing piece, but overall, it looked a bit amateurish for an art show.

That said, I do think that art should be for the people and not just the elite and this show does foster that idea. It was inspiring to see so much creativity in every nook and cranny. It was raining the whole time we were there. We soon returned to the kayak "parking area."

The cafe there had already closed and a nearby artist had a dj spinning techno reminiscent of a phone receiver off the hook. Shivering, no coffee and the phone ringing in our ears, we decided to leave immediately, not wait the 2 1/2 hours for the current to change.

Our trip, including a stop at the South Street Seaport to visit the Waterpod, was about 8 hours. We paddled back against a fading tide, but it took two hours to get to the Williamsburg Bridge from Governor's Island. At Brooklyn Bridge Park, I had suggested waiting for the current to change, but the boys were eager to forge ahead. Fine by me. We got back just as the sun was setting over Manhattan and watched the lights twinkle on.

So overall a fantastic trip. I'm really looking forward to the City of Water Day, when us kayakers will camp overnight on the Island.


  1. That's pretty impressive.. NY tides, (especially east river tides) are quite strong (at hell gate, they can 'run' as much as 25 knots!)

    (i have meager knowledge of the tides (in general)--i was in my 40's before i ever heard about the 'rule of 12ths') (a sad statement for someone who has live all her life in this city.. i know the least about its watery ways)

  2. Tides/current are a big consideration. But we were coming from Buttermilk Channel up to Williamsburg Bridge during last to hours of the ebb - rule of 12ths.
    It still did take us two hours that would have taken about 1/2 hour with the current.