Wickiworld: Riverside Drive

About the author: Wickham Boyle, known as Wicki, has has written for The New York Times, National Geographic, and other publications. She was a founder of CODE and Thrivenyc Magazine, executive director of LaMaMa theater, and author of A Mother’s Essays From Ground Zero (2001), which debuted as an opera in 2008. She has an MBA from Yale and worked as a Wall Street stockbroker. At Memory & Movement, she writes about memorizing poems while walking along the Hudson.

Monday was a less than perfect day to sail the Hudson on the yacht Manhattan to get a preview of the Red Bull Air Race, which will bow this weekend (June 19 and 20), but nonetheless it was exciting to be on the roiling river watching the world go by.

The races are being touted by the Western Austraila tourism bureau because many of them happen out of Perth, but they are also obviously—duuuhhhh—sponsored by Red Bull. The cruise today was tinged with a bit a sadness as Matt Hall, the pilot who was supposed to have joined us to hype the event, was in an accident in Canada this past weekend. The wing of his plane skimmed the water, shearing it and causing him to crash. All told he was lucky. Hall is probably flying again in this weekend’s events as it was a supposed minor crash— in my mind, however, minor crashes are like being a little pregnant. There is no such thing.

But I took to the water to survey the racecourse, and truth be told to see my beloved neighborhood from a new vantage point. I love sailing by, pointing out my street from the middle of the Hudson. There’s the old park on the pier, there’s the swimming pool at Stuyvesant High School, there’s the Winter Garden, the Holocaust Museum, and on and on.

The guide on our boat seemed to have some juicy info on the New Jersey side of the Hudson. Did you know that right in Hoboken is a cave that in the late 1800’s was believed to be the fountain of youth? Did you know that the Statue of Liberty has her right foot raised to show she is walking off in search of freedom? And that her crown has seven points representing the seven seas and continents? And that Eiffel, of the Tour fame, designed the inside of the tower and that Frederic Bartoldi designed the outside? Bartoldi used his mistress as the model for the body and his mother was the face model. A little creepy, but interesting.

So if you’re downtown this weekend, view the air race from the piers in Tribeca or from Battery Park or take a sojourn to Jersey for the up-close-and-personal.

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