Amongst the Thousand Islands, scattered between New York and Ontario, this island of fields and wind turbines seems to be astride the past and the future.
Childhood games of RollerCoaster Tycoon conditioned me to the experience of viewing theme parks from high above; passing Six Flags Great Adventure in a commercial airliner provided a remarkably similar vantage.
As a child, I was deeply interested in the idea of islands—these isolated, well-defined chunks of land that were separated from everyone else. My favorite LEGO sets were those modeling pirates marooned on desert islands. I wonder what my childhood self would have thought of living in a town with an uninhabited island at its center?
Perhaps it’s a childhood spent on the trails around Mohonk Mountain House, but whatever the reason, I’m a huge fan of stairs along trails. This drone’s-eye view of Heritage Park’s trail in Canton shares some similar trail architecture.
This uninhabited island sits at the center of Canton, New York. While it’s currently a park, the ruins on the island indicate its past as the site of water-powered mills that processed the products of the surrounding farmland. I’m still discovering more of its history, but I’m fascinated by the process that could lead an entire section of a town to be abandoned.
The most senior faculty member in St. Lawrence University’s Department of Chemistry is preparing to retire and I selected this image to present to him. (Shhh, keep it a secret for a few more days.) He often looks out from Johnson Hall of Science, the building in the foreground, north towards the older parts of campus (like the chapel spire above the horizon.) In this image, I hopefully captured for him both where he stands and what he sees so that he can take them with him when he goes.
There are plenty of historical reasons (including the original St. Lawrence University’s acquisition of the adjacent agricultural college), but the clustering of the school’s STEM-focused buildings on one side of campus—the arts/humanities at the other extreme and most of the social sciences in the middle—has resulted in a literal mapping of the academic spectrum onto physical space.