Monday, July 9, 2018

Taghkanic Journal I

O's Eatery in Chatham (photo: Francis Levy)
Geography often seems gratuitous, but it’s curiously indicative of sensibility. For instance, you journey up the Taconic parkway which is the anglicization of a Native American word, Taghkanic, which means "forest wilderness," through Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia Counties. You pass by quirky sounding roads that lead to sleepy little towns like Ancram and Clinton Corners. Some of these are mere watering holes with a general store and there's O’s Eatery right before Chatham. For Plato reality was the shadows on the wall of a cave, but this is one diner that comes as close as you’re going to get to an ideal form with its oracular waitresses, who look like they have seen it all, and homecooked specials like cornflake crusted chicken. Journeying north for a half an hour it’s as if you’ve made a sea shift. You’re in Stockbridge, which is the site of the grand old Red Lion Inn, the gateway to the culture of  Lenox and Tanglewood and onwards to MASS MoCa in North Adams and The Clark in Williamstown. By contrast if you travel up Route 17, a wilderness once dotted with borscht belt icons like the Corcord and Kutschers, you find the Catskills and towns with Greco-Roman names like Ithaca, Utica and Syracuse. New York's arteries reach out as far north as Vermont and west as Pennsylvania. But one thing is certain, all roads don’t lead to Rome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.