Friday, 11 November 2011

The Meadowlands by Robert Sullivan

Wilderness adventures on the edge of New York City

'Just five miles west of New York City, the Meadowlands is an untamed and very smelly 32-square-mile tract of swampland.. a memorable ode to an overlooked battleground in the struggle between progress and nature' - blurb

So is the Meadowlands.. an eyesore on New York's doorstep? A dump for toxic chemicals and unwanted gangland bosses and buildings? A wild warren of waterways and overgrown history?

 In fact all of the above, seen through the eyes of a man who celebrates quirkiness, delighting in the oddity that is everywhere if you look closely enough

 I enjoyed him kitting up in a city camping store, where the staff just don't get that he wants the gear to go out in the Meadowlands, that somehow they aren't worthy of proper attention, being unofficial countryside (link to Richard Mabey’s book of that title)

 'Dave spotted an egret, its long curved white neck the shape of a highway off-ramp, its white feathers the colour of Styrofoam' (p 80)

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