CellphoneAqueduct

—–Cell phone in use! The question is, though, where is this man?  The answer is, he is inside the Broad Street Aqueduct that goes over the Genesse River. He is directly under the street, or maybe the Rundel Memorial Library.  More stunning than that even, he is standing in the bed of the original Erie Canal! The canal was built in 1825, and needed this massive aqueduct to take it over the Genesee River.  Canal barges loaded flour from the mills along the river here, when Rochester was known as “the Young Lion of the West”. The same bed became the Rochester subway, when this downtown section of the canal was abandoned in the 1920’s.  Outside that half-moon window we can one of modern glass buildings of downtown Rochester. Another question is; what is all that . . .  artwork?  Well, some people, notably homeless people and renegade artists, know how to go through the fence two blocks up South Ave, and traverse this tunnel. The aqueduct walls are completely covered with spectacular graffiti. That answers many questions, or begins to.  Now, we should say, the person himself is Thomas Grasso, of the Canal Society of NY, and we’re taking a tour as part of a project for the World Canal Conference next year. And I am thinking, as I snap this flash photo with my digital camera . . . well!  I am not sure what I am thinking! It is something poetic, though. Something complex enough to contain these clashing images.  Some form of thought in which the impossible past is summoned, and can stand side by side, like in a reverie, with the super-real, though highly ambiguous present moment.  The present moment, in which we are equipped with all these devices, to capture and discuss . . .

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