Nyack Sketch Log: Eight Years Of Ink

by Bill Batson

Today is the eighth anniversary Nyack Sketch Log. Since 2011, I have published nearly 400 columns. The flow of ink forming essays and illustrations almost entirely about a person, place of interest or policy matter related to Nyack, New York.

There have been occasional repeats, and I admit the edge of my creative quiver has not always been as sharp as I would wish. However, I have sought to faithfully fulfill a self-imposed mandate, that eventually, became a covenant with my readers. Every Tuesday, for the last eight years, I have tried to bring forth something compelling.

Spinoff events and experience have emerged from the Nyack Sketch Log. Several flash sketch mobs have gathered, a public art event where dozens of residents create a collective perspective landscape portrait.  Sam Harps staged a play based on one entry and a sketch log about the underground railroad led to the dedication in Nyack of a Toni Morrison’s Bench by the Road.

Two compilations of 55 short essays and sketches each have been published and are for sale, and thankfully, still sell. You can purchase volume I and II here.

I am a different person from when I began this odyssey on August 23, 2011 and the world is a different place. Here are the titles that appeared every time I hit publish these last 8 years. They say something about me, and the community that make this village unique.

Passing milestones helps us take measure of where we’ve been and how far we are from where we want to go. But there are invisible forces — a psychic physics– that creates momentum and direction in our lives. This project now has a life of its own. Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

8 years of ink

  1. Liberty Street (8/23/11)
  2. Wet and Wild Rogue Elephants (8/30/11)
  3. The Lights Are Back On.  (9/6/11)
  4. I Remember John Perry (9/11/11)
  5. Jen White For Mayor (9/12/11)
  6. Alien Archeologists (9/20/11)
  7. Straight Lines Ruin Everything (9/27/11)
  8. The Bull of Wall Street (10/4/11)
  9. NSL Vs. Google Maps (10/11/11)
  10. Brinks Robbery (10/18/11)
  11. The Tappan Zee Bridge (10/25/11)
  12. #RipVanWinkle (11/1/11)
  13. A “Dirty Rat” of Route 59 (11/8/11)
  14. To 10960 With Love (11/15/11)
  15. Post Occupied Wall Street (11/22/11)
  16. Soup Lines to Soup Angels (11/ 29/11)
  17. Nyack Center (12/6/11)
  18. Amazing Grace Church (12/13/11)
  19. Pickwick (12/20/11)
  20. Village Hall (12/28/11)
  21. Warts and All: 1884 Map (1/3/12)
  22. Vincent’s Ear (1/10/12)
  23. Fellowship of Reconciliation (1/17/12)
  24. Couch Court (1/23/12)
  25. Save our Green House (1/31/12)
  26. Hoppermania (2/7/12)
  27. Pilgrim Baptist Church (2/14/12)
  28. St. Philip’s A.M.E. Zion (2/21/12)
  29. Nyack Water (2/28/12)
  30. Nyack Library Part I (3/6/12)
  31. Nyack Library Part II (3/13/12)
  32. Maura’s Kitchen (3/20/12)
  33. Nyack’s Little Schoolhouse (3/27/12)
  34. The Rotary Clock (4/3/12)
  35. Flash Sketch Mob (4/10/12)
  36. Nyack Village Theatre (4/17/12)
  37. Versus Walgreens (4/24/12)
  38. Wright Bros. Real Estate (5/1/12)
  39. Hacienda (5/8/12)
  40. Underground Railroad (5/15/12)
  41. Pie Lady… & Son (5/22/12)
  42. Streamstudios (5/29/12)
  43. The Office (6/5/12)
  44. Hook Mountain Yacht Club (6/12/12)
  45. Came, Saw, Sketched (6/19/12)
  46. Flash Sketch Mob Finale (6/26/12)
  47. Fire Department (7/3/12)
  48. The Corner Frame Shop (7/10/12)
  49. The Orchards of Concklin (7/17/12)
  50. The YMCA (7/24/12)
  51. Hollingsworth Memorial (7/31/12)
  52. Hopper House (8/ 7/12)
  53. Hopper Happens (8/14/12)
  54. One-Year Anniversary (8/21/12)
  55. Hudson House (8/28/12)
  56. Elmwood Playhouse (9/4/12)
  57. Koblin’s Pharmacy (9/11/12)
  58. Rockland Center for the Arts (9/18/12)
  59. Carson McCuller’s (9/25/12)
  60. Amazing Grace Circus (10/2/12)
  61. Historical Society of the Nyacks (10/9/12)
  62. Art Café (10/16/12)
  63. William Prime Batson (10/23/12)
  64. 1 Poltergeist Place, Nyack NY (10/30/12)
  65. Brave New Normal (11/6/12)
  66. Vets Rock (11/13/12)
  67. Year Round Farmers’ Market (11/20/12)
  68. Main Street Revival (11/27/12)
  69. Helen Hayes MacCarthur (12/4/12)
  70. The Folk Art of John Rossi (12/11/12)
  71. Hickory Dickory Dock (12/ 18/12)
  72. 25 Days Since Newtown (1/8/13)
  73. Dr. King and Guns (1/15/13)
  74. Health Care Reform (1/22/13)
  75. Last Armoire Standing (1/913)
  76. Int’l Order of Odd Fellows (2/5/13)
  77. Sam Waymon Lived Here (2/12/13)
  78. Kenya on the Hudson (2/19/13)
  79. Anderson and the SS Columbia (2/26/13)
  80. Local History on Map (3/5/13)
  81. Fracking Finds Fresh Foe (3/12/13)
  82. Mayor Jen White (3/19/2013)
  83. Couch Court (3/26/13)
  84. Planning for New Playgrounds (4/2/13)
  85. Towering Treasures (4/9/13)
  86. Postcard From Antarctica (4/16/13)
  87. Frances Pratt and the NAACP (4/22/13)
  88. Oak Hill Cemetery (4/29/13)
  89. Stop on The Trip To Bountiful (5/7/13)
  90. S. Nyack Mayor Tish DuBow (5/14/13)
  91. Art Puts Nyack on the Map (5/21/13)
  92. Community Agriculture (5/28/13)
  93. It’s Bike Season, Be Safe (6/4/13)
  94. Strawtown Studio (6/11/13)
  95. Mandela Meditation (6/ 18/13)
  96. Amazing Grace Circus (6/25/13)
  97. Vincent’s Ear (7/2/13)
  98. Piermont a la Paris (7/9/13)
  99. Requiem for a Barn & Barge (7/16/13)
  100. NSL Turns 100 (7/23/13)
  101. Two Row Flotilla (7/30/13)
  102. Solomon Northup (8/6/13)
  103. Let Freedom Ring (8/13/13)
  104. Small Business Cultivation (8/20/13)
  105. Volunteer Fire Department (8/2713)
  106. Yoga Reborn Here (9/3/13)
  107. John Perry (9/10/13)
  108. West Gate (9/17/13)
  109. Tappan Zee Playhouse (9/24/13)
  110. Hannemann’s (10/1/13)
  111. New York’s Next Mayor? (10/8/13)
  112. Nyack Boat Club (10/15/13)
  113. Grace Church (10/22/13)
  114. Hand House (10/29/13)
  115. Sandy Still Stings (11/5/13)
  116. Active Shooter (11/12/13)
  117. First Reformed Church (11/19/13)
  118. Pie Lady and Son (11/23/13)
  119. Support our Nyack Center (12/3/13)
  120. Mandela 1918-2013 (12/7/13)
  121. Indoor Farmer’s Market (12/10/13)
  122. Avispa (12/17/13)
  123. Living Christ Church (12/24/13)
  124. Didier Dumas (1/7/14)
  125. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dreamcatcher (1/14/14)
  126. Vytlacil (1/21/14)
  127. William Prime Batson 1922-2019 (1/28/14)
  128. Teagevity (2/4/14)
  129. GW Bridgegate (2/11/14)
  130. Carson McCullers (2/18/14)
  131. St. Charles AME (2/25/14)
  132. 12 Years a Slave (3/3/14)
  133. African American Entrepreneurs (3/4/14)
  134. Green Mountain Energy (3/11/14)
  135. OK Records (3/18/14)
  136. Houses with a Secret (3/25/14)
  137. The Hopper Years (4/2/14)
  138. Mount Moor Cemetery (4/9/14)
  139. Piermont Station (4/14/14)
  140. Palisades Imperiled (4/22/14)
  141. Jazz Age Speakeasy (4/29/14)
  142. Neighborhood Knife Sharpener (5/6/14)
  143. Hillburn Case (5/16/14)
  144. Revolusun (5/20/14)
  145. Gardens of Civic Virtue (5/27/14)
  146. Gay Pride (6/3/14)
  147. Women in the Military (6/10/14)
  148. Liberty School (6/17/14)
  149. O’Donohue’s (6/24/14)
  150. Southtown Farms (7/1/14)
  151. Hip Hop Horray (7/10/14)
  152. Farmer’s Market Doubles Down (7/15/14)
  153. Nyack Hospital’s New Chapter (7/22/14)
  154. Hummingbird Ranch (7/29/14)
  155. Maria Luisa (8/5/14)
  156. DSZ Barbers (8/12/14)
  157. Towt House (8/19/14)
  158. House Haunted by Art (8/26/14)
  159. West Gate (9/2/14)
  160. America’s First Yogi (9/9/14)
  161. Amazing Grace Circus (9/11/14)
  162. Gluten Free Goodies (9/16/14)
  163. Congregation Sons of Israel (9/23/14)
  164. Fairy Tale Home (9/30/14)
  165. United Hospice of Rockland (10/7/14)
  166. Nyack on the Map (10/14/14)
  167. Legally Haunted House (10/21/14)
  168. Hitchcock Meets Hopper (10/28/14)
  169. Tools of Many Trades (11/4/14)
  170. Jerry Donnellan (11/11/14)
  171. Toni Morrison Bench by the Road (11/18/14)
  172. Rockland Non-Profits (11/25/14)
  173. Nyack Sketch Log: The Book (12/2/14)
  174. Hickory Dickory Dock (12/9/14)
  175. Squash Blossom (12/16/14)
  176. Guide to Giving (12/23/14)
  177. Sam Waymon Soars (12/30/14)
  178. Warts And All (1/6/15)
  179. Goat Herding Tale (1/13/15)
  180. Sweetpea Market (1/20/15)
  181. Helen Hayes MacArthur (1/27/15)
  182. NAACP President Frances Pratt (2/3/15)
  183. Local History on the Map (2/10/15)
  184. Art Cafe (2/17/15)
  185. Flash Sketch Mob 2015 (2/24/15)
  186. Women of Leadership (3/3/15)
  187. Didier Dumas Redux (3/10/15)
  188. Richard Anderson (3/17/15)
  189. Strawberry Place (3/24/15)
  190. Earth Day Edition (3/31/15)
  191. Lent House Demolished (4/7/15)
  192. Hand House (4/14/15)
  193. School Street Syllabus (4/21/15)
  194. Welcome Toni Morrison (4/28/15)
  195. O’D’s Last Call (5/5/15)
  196. Kendell Brenner (5/12/15)
  197. A Bench By the Underground Railroad (5/19/15)
  198. Flash Sketch Mob is Back (5/26/15)
  199. John Green Preservation Coalition (6/2/15)
  200. Art Walk Founder (6/9/15)
  201. Amazing Grace Still Soaring (6/16/15)
  202. Summer Jazz (6/23/15)
  203. Vytlacil Artist Residency (7/7/15)
  204. Boat Builder (7/14/15)
  205. International Order of Odd Fellows (7/21/15)
  206. Neighborhood Knife Sharpener (7/28/15)
  207. Hummingbird Ranch (8/4/15)
  208. Nyack Needs A Skate Park (8/11/15)
  209. Jazz Age Speakeasy (8/18/15)
  210. Nyack Center Turns 25 (8/25/15)
  211. Historical Society of the Nyack (9/8/15)
  212. Piermont Happenings (9/15/15)
  213. Avispa (9/22/15)
  214. Elmwood Playhouse (9/29/15)
  215. Pickwick Book Shop (10/6/15)
  216. Pie Lady and Son (10/13/15)
  217. Waymon Salutes Nina Simone (10/20/15)
  218. Legally Haunted House (10/27/15)
  219. FOR 100 Years Old (11/3/15)
  220. Gallery of Metal and Stone(11/10/15)
  221. House Haunted by Art (11/17/15)
  222. Teagevity (11/24/15)
  223. Orchards of Concklin (12/1/15)
  224. Guide to Giving (12/8/15)
  225. Tappan Zee Bridge (12/15/15)
  226. Nyack Library Part I (12/22/15)
  227. Nyack Library Part II (12/29/15)
  228. Hillburn School (1/5/16)
  229. ROCA (1/12/16)
  230. YMCA (1/19/16)
  231. Strawberry Place (1/26/16)
  232. Hopper House (2/2/16)
  233. Local History Scholar (2/9/16)
  234. Couch Court (2/16/16)
  235. Maura’s on the Move (2/23/16)
  236. The Office (3/1/16)
  237. Towt House (3/8/16)
  238. Skate Board Wizards (3/15/16)
  239. Year-Round Farmer’s Market (3/29/16)
  240. Green Mountain Energy (4/5/16)
  241. Oak Hill Cemetery (4/12/16)
  242. O’Donoughue’s Rides Again (4/19/16)
  243. Congregation Sons of Israel (4/26/16)
  244. Fairy Tale House (5/3/16)
  245. Nyack Village Theatre (5/10/16)
  246. Amazing Grace Circus 5/17/16)
  247. Gay Pride Rockland (5/24/16)
  248. Oratamin Pool Club 5/31/16)
  249. Art Walk (6/7/16)
  250. DSZ Barber (6/14/16)
  251. Piermont Happenings (6/21/16)
  252. Squash Blossom (6/28/16)
  253. Historical Society (7/12/16)
  254. Waymon Makes History (7/19/16)
  255. Jazz Week (7/26/16)
  256. Bell ans (8/2/16)
  257. My Own Little Gallery (8/9/16)
  258. Maria Luisa (8/16/16)
  259. Hollingsworth Memorial (8/23/16)
  260. Siren Song (8/30/16)
  261. John Perry (9/6/16)
  262. Carson McCullers  (9/20/16)
  263. Segregated Cemetery (9/27/16)
  264. Support John Green House (10/4/16)
  265. Yoga Reborn (10/11/16)
  266. Brinks Robbery (10/18/16)
  267. Legally Haunted House (10/25/16)
  268. Organization of Global Impact (11/1/16)
  269. Metal & Stone (11/15/16)
  270. Last Armoires (11/22/16)
  271. Indoor Farmer’s Market (11/29/16)
  272. Hip Hopper Hooray (12/13/16)
  273. Hickory Dickory Dock (12/20/16)
  274. Warts & All (1/10/17)
  275. Nyack Library Part I (1/17/17)
  276. Nyack Library Part II (1/24/17)
  277. St. Philip’s AME (1/31/17)
  278. Mandela Bio Pic (2/7/17)
  279. St. Charles AME (2/14/17)
  280. Hillburn Case (2/21/17)
  281. Art Walk (2/28/17)
  282. Pickwick (3/7/17)
  283. Celebrate McCullers (3/21/17)
  284. Elmwood Playhouse (3/28/17)
  285. Chamber of Commerce (4/4/17)
  286. Congregation Sons of Israel (4/11/17)
  287. Earth Day (4/18/17)
  288. Pie Lady & Son (4/25/17)
  289. YMCA (5/2/17)
  290. House Tours (5/9/17)
  291. Didier Dumas (5/16/17)
  292. Amazing Grace (5/30/17)
  293. Mostly Myrtles (6/6/17)
  294. Art Council of Rockland (6/20/17)
  295. RoCA (6/27/17)
  296. Avispa (7/11/17)
  297. Kendell Brenner (7/18/17)
  298. School Street Syllabus (7/25/17)
  299. Bell ans Turns 120 (8/1/17)
  300. Karenderya (8/22/17)
  301. Straight Lines Ruin Everything (8/29/17)

 

Thanks to Dave Zornow for investing over a decade of his life to build NyackNewsAndViews.com.  Few communities have a daily digital platform for thoughtful, curated local content.

I thank the Nyack Chamber of Commerce for helping me find work that accommodates all of my art forms.

And most importantly I thank the love on my life Marisol Diaz, for sharing and shaping a household that accommodates tons of content and constant deadlines.

Special thanks to my sponsors during these eight years: Hal Parker, owner of The Corner Frame Shop, Lisa Hayes, founder of Creative Financial Planning and Sabrina Weld, of Weld Realty. Weld has been with me for the last six years. Without their support, I would not have been able to stay the course.

And to everyone who has read a word, seen a sketch, or bought a card, book, t-shirt, mug, or hat, thank you for your time, attention, consideration and patronage.

As a guide to how I view this collection of sketches and short essays, I have selected one favorite per year. I’d be curious to know which are your favorites.

My Eight Favorites from Eight Years of Ink

2011: Liberty Street is Aptly Named

 

 

 

 

 

This house and this street are the remnants of Nyack’s oldest middle class black neighborhood.  In the early twentieth century, when Edward Hopper was a teenager, a group of African American families bought homes in Nyack. Homeownership by blacks in Nyack was a stunning achievement when you consider the fact that merely fifty years earlier blacks owned nothing: blacks were owned.

2012: warts and all

 

 

 

 

 

In 1884, Nyack, NY was a bustling river community and the commercial heart of Rockland County. This sketch is from a widely circulated map made by L. R. Burleigh. The bird’s-eye view rendering depicts a jumble of homes, businesses and churches. When you take a closer look at this historical document you’ll discover that our 19th century republic on the Hudson was not as indivisible as the promise made in our pledge of allegiance.

2013: Yoga Reborn Here

 

 

 

 

 

Pierre Bernard, America’s first yogi, lived on an ashram he called the Clarkstown Country Club in Nyack from 1920 until his death in 1955. The complex of buildings is now the campus of Nyack College. Equal parts Harry Houdini and Howard Hughes, Bernard achieved degrees of success as a yogi, animal trainer, baseball manager, and aviation expert. But millions knew him by his dubious tabloid title, Oom the Omnipotent.

2014: House Haunted by Art

 

 

 

 

 

When printmaker Sylvia Roth moved into her home in South Nyack in 1977, she had no idea it was the birthplace of a major figure in American art, Joseph Cornell. This house on Piermont Avenue seems to have its own designs, selecting artistic occupants for over a century.

2015: Last Call at OD’s

 

 

 

 

After operating under the ownership of an O’Donoghue for 63 of the last 65 years, the pub near the corner of Main Street and Broadway in Nyack served their last call on April 23. There has been an O’Donoghue behind the bar since 1949, when Paul O’Donoghue Sr. started working as a night barman for what was then called Charlie’s Bar & Grill.

O’D’s reopened under new management and is thriving and continuing the legacy of music, food and libation.

2016: Skate Board Wizards

 

 

 

 

 

Before we had a skatepark, Nyack was home to one of the first skateboard teams in New York, The Wizards. Acclaimed photographer Charlie Samuels is launching an Indiegogo campaign to complete his documentary that will feature the Wizards and the Village of Nyack called Virgin Blacktop. There will be a fundraising party tonight, Tuesday, March 15 at Nyack’s Pour House, 102 Main Street from 6-9p to launch the online fundraising effort.\

2017: Karenderya

 

 

 

 

 

The intersection of Midland Avenue and Main Street has become a reliable incubator for new family-run restaurants in Nyack. Once the home of Maura’s Kitchen, that recently moved to South Broadway, the crossroads now boasts Cuñao, a taqueria and across the street Karenderya, which was launched this month by Paolo Mendoza and Cheryl Baun.

2018: Main Street Beat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the name of Nyack’s only record shop has changed, the staff, stylings and singer/songwriter owners remain the same. Amy Bezunartea and Jennifer O’Connor announced this weekend that their store will no longer share the name of their record label, Kiam. Main Street Beat is now emblazoned on the door where music fans can find new releases from the indy label, previously owned classic vinyl records and an eclectic offering of books and clothing, curated by Amy.

2019: I Am Shazam

I have to chose my words very carefully, because of the extremely litigious history of this topic. Simply put, because I am Billy Batson, I am Shazam.

Bill Batson is an artist and writer who lives and sketches in Nyack, NY. Nyack Sketch Log: “Eight Years of Ink” © 2019 Bill Batson. To see more, visit billbatsonarts.com 


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