It was such a beautiful day today I decided to take a walk and see what was happening. My first stop was Riverlink Park where I ran into Congressman Paul Tonko, who was there to check on the progress of Phase II construction. “I’ve been waiting fifteen years for this!” he exclaimed. Bulldozers and graders were buzzing as they moved dirt to create paths. Artist Alice Manzi was supervising the Painted Rock sculpture she was commissioned to create for the park. The cinderblock center was now covered with steel framework and metal mesh. A mixture composed of cement and fiberglass was being blown into the framework through firehose by Manzi’s associates. There seemed to be an issue with adherence as they stopped the pumps to study the results. Soon after the pumps were back on as work continued on the large sculpture that is representative of a rock formation just east of the park that once contained paintings done by the Native Americans who were Amsterdam’s first residents.
I asked Congressman Tonko what he thought about the steel girder from the World Trade Center scheduled for installation in the new park. He stated he did not mind it as long as it was not near the Painted Rock sculpture that he described as “sacred ground”.
While in the park I ran into an older gentlemen (yes older than me) named Sam, who was also observing the activity in the park. He pointed out the new deck erected at the Riverlink Café with great views of the river. Sam was quick to comment on how wonderful he thought the park was, but was very critical of the negativity displayed by WCSS radio personalities who “have nothing good to say”. He also went on to say that there is no good coverage of Amsterdam in the local papers these days. Sam stated he prefers to stay in the background when I asked him for his full name.
After leaving Riverlink Park I took a walk down East Main Street and on the current pedestrian walkway over the Mohawk where I took some photos of the Chalmers building. There was a small pile of rubble in front of one of the buildings and a couple of cranes, but there didn’t seem to be any demolition going on this morning.
It was a great morning with mostly clear sky and some puffy clouds that worked well with my wide-angle lens.