Friday, December 30, 2005

Utica...the Core...the hope of the valley

One of my favorite pieces of the Utica area I did last winter. On Court street looking SE towards Grace Church. It shows the decay, yet also captures the glimmer of hope, and also the wealth and dignity that was Utica's strength at one time. Many landmark buildings that were remnants of the textile industrial/Erie Canal heyday in Utica have been torn down. The Devereux Building, Old City Hall (Designed by Upjohn), The Globe Building to name a few. It is a shame because destroying our landmark buildings is like erasing our history, erasing who we are. No wonder so many people leave this area, many of whom are 3rd, 4th, 5th or greater generations of MV residents. Often never to return, only perhaps to die here or be buried here.
This areas only hope is to rebuild this rotting core, maintain it's cultural identity through restoration and maintenance of architecturally significant buildings, hold onto ethnic neighborhoods, provide more assistance for the development and growth of hi-tech companies like: Black River Systems. Utica with a vision and a plan that is shared with all, can be the catalyst to the rebuilding and controlled growth of the whole community.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Trenton Falls

This year they "opened up" Trenton Falls to the
public for a few weekends a year. Was really cool to see, and worth the hike in. This is one of those jewels of the Mohawk Valley that should be accessible to the public all year. It would be a great tourist attraction just like it was a hundred years ago. Although, the falls beauty have been despoiled greatly by the hideous pipes and dam put in by Ni-Mo or their predecessor.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A View From Above; the "Eagle"

The brown leaves whirl and rustle on the recently blacktopped road of the New Forest Cemetery. I walk along a grassy stretch, and it is tantalizingly quiet here until I hear a car rolling along on the gravelly roads nearby. I look up to see a dirty white compact car with a lone driver zip along on the road just above the Rathbone monument. Above me the grey skies are stirring and churning, occassionally revealing hints of blue skies beyond. A burst of sunshine pierces the clouds for a few seconds and highlights a white birch tree which seemingly glows and basks in the warm golden glow of the sun.

I am unsettled as it is late autumn again. Autumn is a season of contrasts here in Upstate, New York. A season which starts out with beautiful vibrant colors as leaves turn magnificent shades of yellows, reds and oranges accentuated by deep blue skies, and then transitions to overcast brown and grey brooding landscapes and skies. The air becomes bitterly cold as the onset of winter approaches, and my mood seems to change with the season as I anticpate the five or six months of winter to come. Geese fly overhead somewhere in the swirling clouds above and are only given away by their honking, and I pause to search the skies to see them as I feel a longing to somehow go south with them.

It is getting colder and darker as I walk along the quiet road and push on to the top of the hill.
The silhouette of the "Eagle" becomes clearer as I approach the top . A forbidding darkness has settled in around me as I stand next to and under the outstretched wings of the "Eagle". I look down on the city lights below and at the traffic winding down into the other side of the Mohawk Valley. Looking down at the twinkling lights and the glow of the city from here, all the flaws of the city are hidden.

I shiver as the city is truly beautiful and inspiring and I am also quite chilled. I head down the hill and melt into the darkness again while reflecting on the images of the city lights, the silhouette of the "Eagle", the sun-drenched white birch tree, and the honking geese. I step out of the cover of trees onto the broken sidewalk and into the amber streetlights and the flourescent glow of the convenience store across the street.
Pat Huther

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lets talk Mohawk Valley!

Hi...always looking for people in and outside the Mohawk Valley who love the area and have similar interests to share some thoughts on:
Artistic; I love to photograph and do paintings and digital illustrations of the barns, churches, historic buildings and landscape of our area.
Fitness; I've run many Boilermakers, X-country ski-Love the Parkway In Utica In Winter!
Political; no doubt we need some serious help.
Cooking Italian, Japanese-love most Italian, tolerate some sushi, prefer tempura, yakitori, sukiyaki, fried rice. Grilling and Dining Out at many of our fine eateries.
Interesting Sites/History: This area is chock full of history
and interesting places to share with all.