Letter from the editor
When we began this issue in late winter/early spring of this year, our minds were consumed with the physical flow we were witnessing, as the snow melted in rivers down the mountains and streams and creeks came back to life. Each year, just at the point when we think we can no longer take it, winter gives way to spring, blossoms burst forth from the ground, and the cycle of nature begins anew. (That’s exactly what inspired our first issue, published just over one year ago.)
And as the streams and rivers replenish the Catskills Watershed—one of just a few sources of drinking water for all of New York City—we’re reminded, too, of the constant flow between the urban and rural worlds. We offer the city our natural resources: clean water, fresh produce, local meat and dairy, and raw materials. The city, in return, feeds us with capital, investment, and opportunity. This is never more clear than during the tourist-filled summer season, when our metropolitan neighbors arrive ready to spend at small businesses, craft fairs, and farmers’ markets.
But the exchange happens in less tangible ways, too. Here we find peace, space, beauty, and time for contemplation; there, we get action, excitement, diversity, and the constant friction that so often drives creativity. It’s a co-dependent ecosystem—each needs the other. Both halves make the whole strong.
That exchange is at the heart of this issue. From Barbara Klar, a jeweler who traded the East Village for a quiet space in the Catskills; to Alexis Lanza, whose poetry is so influenced by place; to Lissa Kiernan, New York ex-pat and founder of the Poetry Barn—the stories herein reflect the cyclical nature of creativity, the way our environmental needs change from day to day and year to year, and the yin/yang relationship of Midtown and the mountains.
Try to remember that the next time you’re cursing the rental cars that pack the lot at your favorite hiking trail.
To maintaining the flow,