By WILLIAM SHANNON
Well, I said I’d restart the engine on this thing in spring. I’ve gotten around to it a day before the start of summer.
This year’s incarnation of Hudson River Zeitgeist will be a little different than the first year.
I expect the meandering interviews with salt-of-the-earth residents to stay the backbone of the site. But the geographic focus will be broader.
Last year, the interview subjects were residents from my home area of Germantown and Hudson and nearby towns—people I knew in some way or had heard stories about, mainly. This year, the interviewees will come from places all along the tidal Hudson River, from New York City to the Capital Region.
The feature stories will take readers on outdoor adventures, most of which can be sought without leaving the bounds of the Hudson Valley. Also, there’ll be dives into some pages of forgotten or bizarre history and a bit of travel writing.
The first year of Hudson River Zeitgeist—which can be called an open-ended project, an online magazine, a blog, or anything else you’d like to call it—resulted in a short-run book called Hudson River Zeitgeist: Interviews from 2015. It contains seventeen talks, an introduction and accounts from paddling 140 miles on the Hudson River.
Of the 250 copies printed, there are still a couple dozen available before it’s out of print. It can be purchased in the city of Hudson at the Solaris Gift Shop (360 Warren Street) or through the Book tab at the top of this website.
Brushing off the cobwebs from a restful winter and spring, I’ve re-drafted this site’s mission statement, which is as follows:
To explore the experience of longtime residents of New York’s Hudson River Valley, as the cultural vistas of the region continue to shift. There's a wealth of media in the valley and beyond telling of the successful new businesses and the talented arrivers; well-designed magazines and pretty webzines that will tell you of the fresh ways to enrich your life here. But, beneath the veneer, there are pools of context left under-explored. Much of that context is painful, some of it is coarse and some of it is inspiring. Through interviews and stories, Hudson River Zeitgeist’s mission is to record various aspects of the heritage of this region’s workers and longtime residents.
I’m looking forward to another season of writing and growing the readership of this website. If you enjoy a story, please tell a friend about it and, as with last year, feel free to send story suggestions, comments, criticism or any other feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the days ahead, stories will emerge here. Check back every week or so for new and, I hope, worthwhile reads exploring avenues that I think are generally not travelled down enough.