Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lang on the Hudson: The Quixotic


Crossing 5th Avenue. Photo from New School photographer


So I've been meaning to write about this for a while and the night before graduation seems as good of a time as any...

So for my final semester at Lang (along with my journalism class, my senior work, and the ever-important newspaper), I built a boat, with about twenty-ish other people. And yes, I got credit for it (3 to be exact). Now I'm not much for construction--I'm more of a computer-and-write-and-talk kinda girl, but I thought I should do something different and not-typically-Nadia. And Rob (one of the greatest people ever) was overseeing/teaching the class and I have a good working-relationship with him, so why not?



Top: Power-sawing it up; Bottom: Adding epoxy for the sides. Photos from Rob

I used a power-saw, fitted wood together, played with epoxy, measured things out even though I'm horrible at math, got splinters, enjoyed the pleasure of planing wonderfully soft wood, clamped things together/down, painted till midnight at school, glued together, and it all came together in the form of a 26-foot Whitehall Gig, The Quixotic (not my choice, but eh). Despite the fact that I have a hard time remembering where the stern and bow are (bow is the front?), I still feel like it was one of the best experiences in my life. Working on the boat was a great way to ignore/forget all of the other nonsense I had to worry/work on (newspaper, senior work, class, life).

For our launch date, maintenance took out the glass windows of the GF and we pulled the boat through. Once we put the boat onto the dolly, we proceeded to walk down 14th Street, then 5th Avenue, and then 11th Street until we reached the Hudson, with the boat in tow. It was amazing and so much fun. The weather was perfect, everyone was wearing either their orange crew shirts or the nifty gray New School-Lang shirts (I cut mine up because I'm stylish like that), people stopped and looked at us, some people even joined up with us (including Inprinters, of course) and it was just so awesome.


Rowing in The Quixotic in Pier 40. Photos from New School photographer.

Once we got to Pier 40, we hooked The Quixotic up to the [hook thingie--forgot official name] and Rob made a speech and poured champagne on the boat (he didn't break it because he "knew what the boat was made of") and then off it went to the water and it floated! I got to christen the boat, along with Brian, Whitney, Toni and the ever-amazing Don. And I have to say, we were a pretty kick-ass rowing team. The boat moved so smoothly. It was great. Afterwards, everyone else got to row and I just ate and played with Rob's daughter and talked to people. I even got some work done.

The next Friday, they rowed out from Pier 40 to Red Hook. I missed this because I overslept, but I met up with them in Red Hook and we rowed back to Pier 40. I was determined to row the entire way and not switch off, even though I kinda sucked at times, but we made it, and I was so very proud of myself. I really need to go rowing again.

And there is more I can say about the proposed developments of Pier 40 and New York City (re)construction and bodies of water, but I will save that for next time.


Rowing back to Pier 40 from Red Hook.

Video of Launch
New York Magazine coverage of the Launch
New York Observer coverage of the class
Inprint Boatbuilding Photo Essay
Rob's fancy video that played in the window of the boat shop in the GF
My Flickr pictures

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