Friday, July 29, 2005

NYC - Wallkill Tour

One of the great things about the Patterson Inn is the nuker (microwave), toaster, coffee maker, and fridge. That means that you can go up to the local A & P, pick up your meals and nuke them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

So this morning we whipped up some scrambled eggs in a bowl, put them in the nuker and chowed down. Quite tasty, really. Bethel also provides you fresh coffee packets for the coffee maker. Not bad really. So we had our coffee, toast, and scrambled eggs while watching CNN news (they also provide some key cable channels). We did bring along our text so that we could do the morning text thing too.

We decided to pick up the Wallkill tour. It's about an hour away from Patterson. Before we left we called a friend-of-a-friend to say "hello" for them. Eric was from the Art department so he brought us up to his studio to show us some of the stuff he was working on. I've never seen an artist who's work I didn't like here, but Eric's was outstanding. He showed us why he included a caged goose in one of the 70 C.E. pictures he'd drawn for the magazines. There's an old guy, evidently fallen in the haste of the exodus, peering into the cage, representing the eventual destination of the people. One man, with tied hands and slightly slouching, casts a glance backwards across the landscape of sad people. He's off to the left. The reason Eric positioned him there was so that once your eye scans the people and finds him off to the side, you find yourself again looking back over his shoulder at the fleeing people. It's very effective.

We wanted to stay and see more but we had to meet someone for lunch at Wallkill. So thanking Eric profusely, we left and arrived at Wallkill with just five minutes to spare.

Lunch was chicken, mini-cabages (brussel sprouts), and cheese cake with fresh blueberries. We ate up. We heard that the tour was going to be two hours so we took advantage of the plates of food passed around the table.

The tour of Wallkill is indeed long. It took about two and a half hours to complete. We saw the burst-binding, Roland presses (four in all), conveyers, delux bindry, shipping, and more. There is just too much to write about here to convey the size and skill of all we saw. The presses are huge, I'd say four stories high by the time you figure in all the support pipes of chill water and ink pumped to each machine. The continous conveyers that route the magazines and signaures (booklets) to the trimmers and automatic stackers are endless.

The reason why this picture caught my attention was the stars. Now, they may just look like a few spots of white paint at the top of the picture but there is much more to this painting than meets the eye. First off it should be said that all the artists spend sometimes hours or even days researching the material before they even put a brush to the canvas. For example, the artists researched the constellations that would have appeared in the night sky at the time Babylon was invaded by the Medes and Persians, as well as the location of the city, before placing the stars in the sky. Wow, I can just hear the artists say: "Hey, I just want to paint here!"

The shipping department alone has conveyers that are a mile and a half long. The horozonal carosels automatically position themselves and show the item to be picked based on the orders in the computers and the bar codes on the box side. It's phonominal.

Eric met up with his cousin right here at Wallkill. Now he has someone to hang with should he end up here.

The boys got a little bored I guess because I discovered these pictures in my camera:

Even though we were worn out after hours of walking, we decided to meet Bob and Cathy at a very unusual restaurant. It's called Umami. Which refers to a "fifth primary taste." The menu includes very unusual items like nothing you've ever tasted before.

Afterward we went to Bob and Cathy's room for wine. I found Bob's most comfortable leather chair, claimed it as my own, and quickly fell asleep. What a jerk I was. Bob woke me up at 10:30 to tell me he had to get up for work the next morning. Oh, yeah, sorry, I thought everyone was on vacation.

Never buy new shoes on vacation. - Dave Terry