Reader Mail: Hudson River safe?
If I only had my camera
And they say Britney lacks good parenting skills! I’m kicking myself for leaving my camera at home, but I will try to be as descriptive as I can to share a funny sighting I had this afternoon. I was with my dog enjoying the lush, grassy spread at the new park in front of Maxwell Place. We walked by the small beach area and to my astonishment, saw a little boy swimming in the Hudson River!!! Gross! The woman, who I presume to be the mother, was sitting near the water’s edge dressed in a blue peasant style shirt with white polka dots and a long red patchwork type skirt (reminded me of the American flag, lol) and donned acid rainbow colored hippie hair. The young lad was wearing plaid pajama pants and his sister, who was busy making sand pies, had on a sun dress- so perhaps this was an unexpected pit stop due to the lack of proper swimming attire?
Anyway, the boy was chin deep in the water while gleefully splashing around and soaking up unimaginable toxins (mercury, lead and oil based chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, sewage, to name a few). Ok, so let’s ignore the “No Bathing” sign at the beach entrance for a moment, what about the adjacent (active) shipyard, what about the constant fleet of water ferries passing by, what about the frothy tide of assorted trash (today is was a tattered baseball and some bottles), where is your judgment woman?!?!? As my dog and I starred on in disbelief, a father and his daughter walked by and he turned to me and said, “I’m not too sure about that…” at which point I just shook my head. Should I have said something to the oblivious woman? I wasn’t prepared to launch into a discourse about the potentially dangerous contaminants that lurk in the Hudson River, and besides, they appeared to be having a rather jolly time. As I watched on in amusement, my dog began whining, maybe she was jealous, and I would sooner roll around naked in a dog park than let her take a dip in that polluted cesspool, so we left.
I did some light online research when I got home and there appear to be mixed reports about the conditions and safety of the Hudson River. I’m curious to know what the real health risks are when swimming in the river, as I read some reports of a proposed beach site off the Manhattan shoreline. Maybe it’s not as dangerous as I am assuming, but for now don’t expect me to be jumping in the river anytime soon!