My favorite quote of the day: “You got gold in there? — Who needs gold when you have love?!”
That was the first interaction on this very, let’s call it “sultry” day.* Lucky for me, I was out on the water for most of it, and that fabulous statement kicked off another day out on the High Water Line.
As most of you know, I try to do most of the project by way of the fabulous yellow trike. Sometimes though, there is a whole lot of chalk to put down - 6 buckets or so (at 50 pounds a bucket…) - those days I usually get a Zip Car (because you STILL don’t need to own a car in this city, even if you do have to move a lot of stuff around). Today was one of those days. I was covering 2 contiguous miles of the High Water Line along the promenade along Shore Road Parkway.
Even though in the project description, I mention that I am marking 70 miles of coastline, that number isn’t entirely exact. Brooklyn has 70 miles of coastline, but the 10-foot above sea level line follows its own very twisty path which may be more than 70 miles, or may be less. I promise to figure it out sometime soon. Regardless of that, the actual amount that I walk is far far more than that. I park the trike or Zip Car in one location and go back and forth with the chalker to refill it. For example, today, today even though I was chalking two miles, I figured out that I walked about 15 miles in the four hours I spent chalking. Each bucket covers about 1/3 of a mile. (Check my math :))
I also was reminded of the part of my project description that says, “I will be drawing” - so even if there isn’t anybody out to document it or walk with me, I am still out there, loading up the chalker every 1/3 mile and laying out that ephemeral blue line of chalk (which also explains why some days there are no pictures of me). Good thing there were a lot of people out on the promenade today to talk to, many of them there to enjoy some free time, which meant that frequently they had the time to ask what I was doing and then have a conversation about climate change. Today I spoke with one gentleman about the loss of flood insurance in the coastal communities. I also spoke with a few different people who were quick to point out the rather crazy weather we are experiencing in New York, and certainly the weather and its affects around the world.
One person even asked, “So you are giving up all your free time to do this?” “Um, yeh, pretty much.” Although I don’t really think of it as giving up free time. If you love what you do and therefore spend all your time doing it, is it really giving up free time? This is basically the second or third time that I have been asked why I would take on this project. I don’t have a really good answer for that. I guess its because I felt like something needed to be done, someone needed to say something, and instead of waiting for someone else to do it…
*I am pretty sure what we were experiencing wasn’t fog but rather the sea water turning to steam in the heat.