We walked north along Haverstraw Bay on this blustery day, the Hudson choppy and the wind socking us in the face as we went. Croton redesigned its waterfront a few years back, eliminating native scrub and little overflow tidal pools from the river, replacing what was there with a concrete walkway and barren expanses of grass. A few tall trees remain, survivors, looking awkward. I couldn’t help but think of the past. This land west of the railroad could never be called pristine, it was all landfill, but still there was the illusion of this being a wild bank of the Hudson. And before the railroad came through in the 1830’s, you could actually walk down to the river’s edge, mosey around, fish, launch your skiff, whatever. Washington Irving, living on the Hudson a short distance downstream in Irvington, agonized when the railroad came through his back yard. Our experience of this fantastic waterway is so truncated now, and yet people swarm the concrete-grass park, yearning for a taste of the river.