Enjoying the Clearwater on the Hudson

The Clearwater has been sailing the Hudson River since 1969 when musician Pete Seeger and friends launched their vision to bring entire communities onboard to gain an appreciation of the Hudson.

Support the Clearwater by volunteering, taking a sail on the Hudson, or making a direct donation.

Last fall the 106 foot white oak sloop (a replica of an 18th century tall ship) was pulled out of the water and dry docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston’s Round Out. The sloop’s hull, centerboard trunk, frames and planks below the waterline were all replaced. The massive renovation was pulled off by volunteers and Clearwater staff and funded by donors. Now she’ll be returned to the water where the white oak will swell and make her buoyant for her first sail in late June.

Spending a Sunday with the Clearwater crew to help with the restoration gave us a hands-on understanding of just how labor intensive the restoration process has been. We helped sweep and tidy the shop, cut and grind steel bolts, make wood plugs, paint and hammer the plugs into the hull. And we’ll gladly be there the next time they pull her out for maintenance.

Of course, sailing with the Clearwater on a private or public charter is another way to keep her afloat! And you truly experience the boat, the river, and the community that loves them both. A brief moment of silence to  listen to the Hudson lapping the side of the sloop is a highlight.

Join the mailing list today so you can stay abreast of excursions as they are added to their calendar. You might even be able to hop on one of the other boats in their fleet this weekend!

Easy Textile Recycling in NYC

New Yorkers trash an average of 46 pounds of textiles per person each year. That's 193,000 tons of clothes, shoes, linens that could be reused, reincarnated into low grade fiber products (like insulation) or  redistributed as second-hand clothing.

     accepted:

  • Clean and dry clothing
  • paired shoes
  • linens
  • handbags
  • belts
  • other reusable textiles
  • (no pillows or carpeting)

 

If you're a New Yorker, your annual Lunar New Year house cleaning will be all the easier with  Grow NYC's textile recycling program.   Your Marie-Kondo-inspired purge of outgrown and threadbare cloths no longer needs to be accompanied by the guilt of tossing them in to the curb in contractor bags! 

Just drop off on a Monday or Saturday Union Square Green Market from 8-4. This program has recycled 3 million pounds since inception.   See if there is a drop off closer to you.

Kids, Unplug!

Imagine misplacing your ten year old - a digital native - and looking for him in vain. You try shouting, phoning, Facebooking, Tweeting, Slacking, Skyping, texting, Face-timing with no answer. 

Then, suddenly, your digital-immigrant brain suggests 'Minecraft'. You log-into his user account on your laptop. You launch the game, you maneuver your way around the hot lava, through the pen of sheep. You swim the length of his 200 yard lap pool, climb the stairs of his McMansion, and  traverse his booby-trapped garden. Pass through his grotto, hike the verdant fields beyond and there you find him -  riding a horse. You catch up to him, clash swords, grab his attention and you text ‘phone, home, now!’

A FANTASTIC, FUTURISTIC DREAM? REALITY? NIGHTMARE? FOR ME THIS CLOSE-TO-REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE WAS ALL THREE.

Until my son turned ten, I set draconian limits on his media consumption and I consumed all media with him (Friday night movies like E.T. and Saturday morning Looney Tunes).   But with the proliferation of gadgets in our home like the iPod, DS, and laptop, he began to spend more and more time alone (and with friends) in virtual landscapes. 

The desire to limit my son's screen time has always had more to do with my gut instinct - and Bill Gate's famous decision to limit his kid to 45 minutes a day - than anything else. But it turns out it's not-so-common sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends just 1 to 2 hours of entertainment screen time a day for kids over the age of two. Yet the average 13-18 year old spends close to eight hours a day online according to the Pew Research Center. 

MIGHT THE CALL TO 'UNPLUG' BE A RALLYING CRY FOR TODAY'S KIDS? 

My favorite health writer,  the New York Times' Jane Brody, recently published an article "Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children"  illustrating that  "..there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of “live” action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development." With a follow up article "How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First."   she bluntly states"Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it."

Long before reading these articles and the studies Brody quotes, my young son and I discussed how to maintain our eye-to-eye, face-to-face, parent-to-child connection as he stands on the brink of middle school where even his relationships with peers may soon play out on Social Media.

TOGETHER WE BRAINSTORMED THE 'KIDS, UNPLUG!' RALLYING CRY TO INSPIRE PARENTS AND KIDS TO UNPLUG.

Unplugging is a challenge for both of us - how do we determine the weather? the time? communicate with friends (not the dreaded telephone!), find recipes for dinner? the rules of Crazy 8s? Like any worthwhile pursuit - it takes practice (even discipline). But there are huge benefits to it - not the least of which is nurturing my son's skills in the real world - from eye contact to the art of conversation and play. Not to mention my own skills, will I ever beat him at a game of "spit”?