Saturday, February 16, 2008

"They're gonna send me up the river"

The Hudson Line of the Metro North Railroad travels, as you might imagine, right alongside the Hudson River. It's very close, usually just a few feet from the shore. (I know, a river should have a bank not a shore, but when the river is over 3 miles wide, it feels like a very long, thin bay. The locals must agree, as this part of the river is called Haverstraw Bay.)

It's a nice way to travel, watching the few ships and boats, and the geology is interesting with a sheer black-brown cliff-face that stretches for miles on the west side but seems to have no companion on the east.

Another of the features of the line is that it passes right through Sing Sing prison. Sing Sing is named after the town in which it is situated. This proved a little too much for the good people of Sing Sing, (as opposed to the bad people in Sing Sing) so they changed their town's name to Ossining. Anyway, the prison buts up against the river and is divided into two by the train line, with walkways overhead, and watch towers and coils of barbed wire to discourage any attempted commuting. I wonder how many men have lain in their cells dreaming of a plan that involves jumping onto the roof of a passing train to Grand Central.

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