Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The City and the River

One of our favourite publishers is Thames and Hudson, which is dedicated to providing intriguing and affordable art books for the international market. It's named after the two famous rivers that anchor two of the most famous cities in the world - two cities that make a huge part of our world.

The Thames River, London.

'Old Man Thames' is a legend in European literature and an intrinsic part of British culture.

Even on grim and cloudy days Londoners love to wander along the banks or run boat races down the river.

From the winding path it takes through the countryside to its estuary at Southend-on-Sea, the Thames has inspired countless images and stories.

Its tides are dramatic; high tide can reach up to 8 metres above low tide. The usual variance is 6-7 metres. See this site for more information about Thames tides.

Even the debris on the Thames banks may be decades or even centuries old. A tour guide once explained that the oyster shells that littered the shores at low tide were not modern trash, but left over from markets dating from Victorian and even medieval times, when oysters still thrived in the river and were cheap food for market-goers.

These days the Thames is as much a London landmark and tourist attraction as any of the city's famous buildings. Old and new worlds meet, with surprising and often amusing visual harmony.

The Hudson River, New York and New Jersey.

This corridor of commerce was once the channel where most of the world's wealth passed. Trading ships came with goods and gold to unload their riches at New York harbours.

Today tourists as well as sailors swarm the famous river. The wonder | wander | women have many fond memories of watching the New York buildings shimmer photogenically over the water.

We were privileged to watch this world-famous skyline weather drastic change, as it grew and evolved into the warm, thriving city it is today.

Over on the other side of the river, in New Jersey, the Hudson changes from a powerful tributary into a scenic holiday location. The 'Jersey Shore' may be a little more famous for its residents than its geographical features, but at least the backdrop is impressive!

We say goodnight to these faithful companions, the Thames and the Hudson. Long may their cities watch over them and continue to thrive in this symbiotic relationship.

photo courtesy of Angelica Berrie

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