We got a late start when the boat was delayed for a couple hours, but that gave us time to have a nice dinner in an Indian restaurant on 29th St. (and we had a moment of inverse sticker-shock when the bill for dinner for four people totaled only $38!) We then boarded the boat and began the cruise down the river.
The crowd of maybe 150 people were a good mix of Black 47 fans and people who just came to party. As the boat cruised down the river we enjoyed views of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. I was shooting a bit of video and sipping a Corona, enjoying the scenery.
The band started playing as we entered the Hudson River. We were treated to some magnificant views of the NY and NJ skylines. The crowd was very enthusiastic and were drinking and having a good time rocking to the band.
Then, as we approached the Statue of Liberty, I noticed that many of this moderately-jaded concert crowd were taking time to look at the sight. Conversations quieted down a bit and a lot of my shipmates were viewing the statue with a bit of awe. She was lit brilliantly and dramatically against the black sky.
This is something that unites us all.
The lesson that I took away from the evening was that we are ALL proud of our country and we ALL love our country equally, regardless of politics. We may not agree on everything (or anything, most of the time), but it occurred to me that we all share a common goal of seeing that our nation continues to be great; and while we may go about getting us there differently, we all have a love of America that is sacred to us.
I've been feeling extremely cynical lately. This newfound realization has given me hope that the best and the brightest of our nation can prevail, and the great principles upon which our democracy was founded will forever be held up as a beacon to the rest of the world, that this noble experiment CAN work.
At least, I now have hope it can.
(All the photos are video frame captures, and you can click to enlarge them)