Vignettes of Poughkeepsie: The Walkway Over the Hudson, Friday, September 8, 7:30 p.m.
The sun set over Washington Street and left a sliver of orange light before disappearing behind several buildings. Cars raced to and fro with headlights glaring and minimal people were seen walking the streets. Lola’s, the popular sandwich shop, appeared silent, while Crave, the Manhattan-style restaurant and bar, overflowed with customers. The Walkway Over the Hudson, typically closed by sundown, was surprisingly full of walkers for after hours.
On this particular Friday evening, my friend and I joined the growing crowd of people on The Walkway Over the Hudson for a special night-time event called the Moonwalk. People of all ages, dogs too, continuously climbed the metal staircase to the top of the walkway where two women were sitting with a donation jar and readily handed out glow sticks to participants.
After I placed money into the donation jar and I grabbed a few glow sticks, my friend and I embarked on our journey. As the sky darkened, orange plastic cones filled with lanterns lined the path. For miles, all that was seen were the shapes of people and glow sticks, most of them tied to the leashes of dogs.
A mother walked with her young son who kept darting in and out of people. The young boy appeared to be frantically searching for someone.
“Where’s Zoey?” said the young boy, as he continuously searched for her.
“She’s up there! Wow, how did that happen?” responded his mother while pointing in the direction of the girl.
After the mother calmed the boy down and they located a young, blonde girl, presumably Zoey, the boy goes off on a random, yet hysterical, tangent.
“Can we stop in the middle to see a shooting star? I have a lot to wish for because Santa isn’t real,” said the young boy to his mother.
Halfway through the walk, there were three telescopes set up for viewing the sky. Just like the young boy I encountered, I used the telescope. By peering through the tiny lens, I witnessed a faint image of Saturn.
“That orange shape right there is Saturn!” the owner of the telescope enthusiastically claimed while he adjusted the lens for me.
After confirming to the owner of the telescope several times that I did indeed see Saturn, I walked to the end of the walkway. Several older women were giggling and sharing stories, children raced along with dogs in tow and a family continuously tried to take the perfect selfie, yet failed, due to the lack of natural light.
By this point, it was difficult to see much of anything. The jingles of dog collars were heard, as well as screeching children. Dogs crossed into my path every so often that I had to avoid stepping on them, although I did encounter a rather friendly Shih Tzu.
On my way back, I spotted the young boy, his mother, and the young girl named Zoey once again. The three of them were engaged in a series of races, and I laughed as each person out-ran the previous one, as we all descended home through the darkness.