The fading colors of Beacon, New York

The train ride from New York to Beacon on the Hudson Line goes literally only meters away from the waterside of the Hudson, past Spuyten Duyvil, Yonkers, and Garrison. North of Manhattan rise up the high peaks of the Englewood cliffs, but then the softer hillsides on the Jersey side dominate the landscape. The most impressive sight is formed by the view at the historic bastion of Westpoint’s citadel, which stands tall and sheltered by its own remoteness on the top of the cliff across Garrison Landing. At Garrison station the first year cadets that will form the elite of tomorrow’s American army attract attention with their obligatory uniforms, their gray tops and white hats. Here is the history of the nation being conserved.

From behind the high doors of the Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church on Main Street, Beacon, loud cheering and singing can be heard on a brisk but sunny Sunday morning. The black folks of Beacon unlike their white citizens are not enjoying the country western performances at the Harvest festival, but they’re praising the Good Message of their Lord. Down at the river side, the harvest theme prevails in the autumn bouquets, the embroidered children clothes and the Halloween pumpkins. There is nothing like American segregation, although there is little openly talk about it. On the side of the gas station up East Main Street, three hooded black teens hang around killing their boredom, as three old guys in their fifties on their Sunday’s Harley Davidson bikes rumble by the Yankee Clipper Diner toward Route 84. Man, the glory of America is faded away in these provincial towns. The abandoned premises of the Unico Special Products factory at the Fishkill Creek offers a bright sight of a dim America in autumn. In 2003 still listed on the list of The 888 most dangerous workplaces in New York State, now closed down. The autumn foliage is changing the leaves and trees along the water, alternating the slope of nearby Bald Hill in a colorful spectacle. The broad water of the Hudson river washes it all away, down to the Hudson Bay, to the Long Island Sound, to the Atlantic.

View a video impression of Westpoint’s Citadel from the Hudson Line train:
high [0.34 sec – 23.2MB]
low [0.34 sec – 0.44MB]


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