A Walk in the Park

After six hours or so in the chair reading advice on marketing, watching videos on social media, networking, what makes a video viral (most often celebrities tweeting about them, surprisingly enough), fundraising, and getting updates from a friend who was putting in a hard day’s mostly futile research on behalf of my nonprofit, I took a walk.  

Balmy day, the nearby park was green and lovely, dotted with people out enjoying the summer afternoon.  As I came over the hill to the tidal basin by Spuyten Duyvil I saw that it was low tide.   The open metal sphere, a work of public art built in the middle of that usually watery expanse, was sitting on mud.   There was mud in every direction for a few hundred feet.   I made my way to the end of the little island that looks west, over the treacherous stretch of river the Dutch named “Spouting Devil”, to the cliffs across the Hudson.

I saw on the mud, each a few hundred feet from the water in the channel, two young women in bathing suits on landlocked water motorcycles, large jet ski type vehicles intended for slicing through water.  In the channel two men were in the water.   The tide had apparently gone out quickly, the boats had become stuck on wet, sticky land, and the men had somehow made it into the water while the women stayed on the large padded seats.

The men hailed some passing jet skis plowing through the channel and these bison-sized one passenger boats approached the shore, but were careful not to get too close.  “We have a rope!” called one of the men in the water.   He thought it was a great plan.   The jet skis backed up, like skittish horses, it was not hard to see their reasoning.   It was like watching a scene by the watering hole on the nature channel, the drinking animals lifting their heads in unison, the one in the water already doomed.

When I left the park an hour later I could see, from another angle, that the jet skis were still firmly on the mud, while others were skittering in the water nearby, but not getting too close.

Nobody likes getting stuck on the mud in low tide, I’ve noticed.


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