Thursday, April 7, 2016

The More Things Change . . .

"Micropolitan Diary" is Gossips' homage to and blatant imitation of "Metropolitan Diary" in the New York Times. The term micropolitan was coined because Hudson is a metropolis in microcosm.
Dear Diary,
Some years ago, I was told by an aficionado of Hudson history that in the early 1870s, when John P. Berridge's "horse railroad" proposed for Green and State streets and Fred W. Jones's "mountain railroad" through South Bay were being advanced as alternatives to heavy wagons laden with stone from the quarry making their way to the river along Union, West Court, and Allen streets, especially boorish teamsters were engaged to drive the wagons, thus adding cursing and expectorating to the offense of having these residential streets rutted and in wretched condition, either "beds of mud or clouds of dust," and motivating the residents to accept the proposed alternatives.
Whether it be true or apocryphal, I was reminded of this tale of Hudson history this morning while walking Joey. We were on the northeast corner of Warren and Third, preparing to cross Warren and head south. The light was green for Third Street, but just as I was about to step into the crosswalk, Joey stopped, distracted by a smell that demanded investigation. A little car traveling south on Third was preparing to turn left onto Warren but waited for Joey and me to cross. Before I could signal the driver of the little car to go ahead because we would be lingering on the curb for a while, the driver of a huge truck behind the little car expressed his impatience at the car's hesitation with an obnoxiously ear-shattering blast of his air horn. The truck bore no identification that I could see, but a dingy orange placard on the back warning "CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE DO NOT FOLLOW" suggested that it was hauling gravel.

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