This past month the international office organized many trips for the exchange students. They make sure that we do not leave without properly exploring the area. Apart from the trips I attended some interesting concerts as well.
At the beginning of April, we visited the Opus 40, which is a large environmental sculpture in Saugerties, New York, closed to Bard, just on the other side of the Hudson River. It was created by sculptor and quarryman Harvey Fite, who was also a teacher at Bard. It comprises of a series of dry-stone ramps, pedestals and platforms. He planned it as an exhibition park where he could display his works, but later realized that the work in itself is a piece of art.
We had a nice time walking around and we even found the place where the sculptor has supposedly fell and died in his own opus.
After the Opus 40 we visited a Tibetan monastery in Woodstock, where we had the chance to listen to the teaching which was going on. Later we also had free time to walk around in the town of Woodstock. To our disappointment, we had to find out that the famous Woodstock Festival did not take place there, as the authorities denied permission, but some 100 miles North from there. It is still a nice artistic town though, with countless numbers of vintage/artsy/hipster/Buddhist shops, cafés and exhibition spaces.
We have been waiting for spring to come here in Annandale for the past month, but the snowing, the wind and the rain did not seem to stop. We had luck with the timing of our next trip: on the first sunny day of April we visited the Poet’s walk, which is a scenic hiking route with beautiful views to the Hudson River. It came just in time – we could finally charge up our Vitamin D storage. :)
And just yesterday we traveled to Poughkeepsie to hike through the Walkway over the Hudson and the Music Bridge. The latter is Joseph Bertolozzi’s public art project, which is a unique sound-art installation featuring the Mid Hudson Bridge as the instrument itself. Launched during the 400th anniversary celebrations in 2009 of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the Hudson River, Bridge Music was created by recording the sounds of the bridge’s surfaces, making the Mid Hudson Bridge the largest percussion instrument in the world. There are listening stations throughout the bridge, and one can listen to hours of percussion music there. The same artist has also made a similar project on the Eiffel Tower.
Apart from the trips, I have gone to many concerts as well this month. Bard is a great place to explore music, as there are concerts literally almost every day. There are many Hungarians in the Conservatory here, and I have gone to a string concert where 2 out of the 3 main artists were first-year Hungarian music students. I have also listened to two other friends during the course of this month: a singer and a clarinet player. And I got to see the President of Bard, Leon Botstein conducting again (the first one being in the Carnegie Hall during my BGIA semester). He played with The Orchestra Now, which is an orchestra in residence at Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, performing only Stravinsky pieces.
I feel that I got to see a lot this month and I am happy that even though our stay here is not too long, I get to explore the area. I truly feel home here, and I hope that one day I will return and see these things again.
We only have a little bit more than a month left here, so watch out for our last adventures, memories and experiences. ;)