Friday, July 3, 2009

Bowsprite - the Sturgeon of Liberty State Park

Thanks to Tugster and Bowsprite for exploring a surviving bit of the salt marsh behind the Statue of Liberty. They find clams, oysters, sturgeons and other harbor edibles. A video of the biggest find - the carcass of a 6 foot sturgeon - shows that the fish that once dominated the river survives.

The marsh and the fish are transformed by Bowsprite's watercolors, which beautifully abstract the shock of the found carcass of a six foot sturgeon. The fish lies half-buried in a salt marsh of the kind that once dominated the harbor shoreline, in a lost, beautiful world. The river and the harbor fed New York City and its surrounds. Sturgeon (Albany beef), shad, stripers and blues, along with the oysters that carpeted the bottom of the New York Bay, were the staple source of protein in New York's first three centuries.

My daughter Taisy's fifth grade teacher - Mr. Lofton - at P.S. 84 on Columbus Avenue - took the kids to Jamaica Bay to cast nets and catch shiners (spearing)! Mr. Lofton was an award-winning teacher. The City should be pleading with Bowsprite and Tugster - to teach teachers how to teach children (and grownups) about the Harbor.