First day of spring, wind not as harsh, walking along the river into Newport is a little more pleasant. A seagull perched, on guard, indifferent to my presence or the other riverside pedestrians. The sun out from hiding the past few days.
Glorious, the city and the view of that city, from here across the river. We are capable of this, why do we wage war and allow poverty? One reason why I live here is this view. There’s something about seeing a city, having a skyline as our constant backdrop, that makes me feel civilized and productive.
On any given day, the view invokes our New Jerusalem, our city on the hill. Or MANHATTAN of screens large and small. Always the perfect exterior set up shot. This story takes place here (or here across the river from HERE). But the content of the view changes, subtle perhaps but change nonetheless. Construction projects progress; more freedom tower is evident, ferries come and go. The view is never static.
The view is always framed, by New Jersey, by the melding of Hoboken and Newport. Wooden posts mark the tide. So many piers are gone. Seagulls just wait it out, wait us out. We think of the background, the capital of the world, our beloved Manhattan. But the background we live with is framed by the foreground – in effect, defined by the foreground. We see the jagged buildings against the horizon, our eyes follow the changing topography of uptown fading into downtown (just like Hoboken fades into Newport, a less visible metamorphosis, to those on the non-Jersey side), but always framed by our side, our lives, the edges of Hoboken rail life, the river-faring remnants, the new glass and steel mixed-used Newport, with housing units and stores. Our New York always includes our New Jersey. Our frame defines our view.