Sojourn* New York


Jennifer Neumann on Bannerman Castle, New York

Destination Unknown


An arrangement of stairs set beneath the idyllic Hudson Valley landscape. The landscape, mottled by fresh summer rain, held a damp, earthy scent.  The visit was a step back to a time when traipsing to the family home in the countryside was a luxury for the prosperous seeking to escape the confines of life in New York City. Standing here admiring the worn facade of Bannerman Castle on the serene Hudson River, I am struck by the beauty and simplicity of the structure so rich with detail and yet not untouched by the passage of time. As I stood there, I tried to imagine the island in its heyday: with lush fruitful gardens and twisting, hidden paths. What had Pollepel Island been like then? Surely it was brimming with life as a family hideaway steeped in traditions that stretched from Scotland to Brooklyn and even with historical ties to the American Revolution. Here I stood in the serenity, enthralled by the staircase on this island. I found myself wondering about the staircase to nowhere on an island long abandoned. I found myself pondering on a deeper and unexpected level. To wonder where I am headed in life sounds cliché. What does the future hold and what might the past imply? Where could an imperfect, weathered staircase on an island (of all places) possibly lead? That anonymity is exactly what perfectly demonstrated the complexity and circular route of life. Past, present or future, we all encounter staircases we must climb and, at times, we may feel as if we are alone and unsure of our heading. But if a staircase on an island can be so explicitly beautiful, then, no matter the path,  I know I am headed in the right direction.

                                                                                  – Jennifer Neumann , text & photo

                                                                                    Bannerman Castle, New York


  Sojourn, a new project focusing on a single glimpse of special travel moments by friends of Plinth et al.


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