September 17th, 2013 | Shored Up | Lake Placid, NY
Starting the tour with three stops in oceanfront communities (Monmouth, Millville and Newport News) then to Lake Erie and Lake Placid via Lake Champlain I’m starting to sense a theme…I’m convinced Shored Up was picked for OSIP based on its merits as a doc but I’m also guessing it didn’t hurt that every venue is on or next to a large body of water.
I grew up in central Vermont and spending a couple of days in the north country on the edge of fall was a treat. I started my journey from Burlington to Lake Placid with a car ferry ride (the long one) across Lake Champlain on the kind of day where you can’t help but just blink and be happy to be alive. This sentiment seemed to shared by my fellow passengers including a newlywed couple who spent the entire ride locked to each others faces. Towards the end of the rise a woman walked up to the front of the ferry next to me, and looking off towards the water began miming the hand motions of painting as she looked out at the vista. She explained, half to me, half to herself, that it was just impossible to capture the sparkling glint of the sun off of the waves with watercolors, and so maybe she’d use oils instead.
The screening at the Lake Placid Performing Arts Center felt well received. James Lemons and the staff put together a panel of four local experts who helped connect the dots from the issues of coastal flooding to the concerns facing the Adirondack community from drinking water to the impacts of climate change on the forest. The conversation inevitably veered into a comparison between Sandy and Hurricane Irene, which was the Sandy of the mountain towns and flood plains from New Jersey through New England. Being from Vermont, I’d paid some attention to the devastation that Irene brought to communities along rivers and mountains, not unlike what we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks in Colorado. But I hadn’t realized just how closely the issues were connected, even down to the terminology used to describe risk and hazards. The property values of homes in mountain communities are much lower than along the coasts, but over time people have gravitated towards the edge of this dynamic system in much the same ways as they have on the beaches. There just seems to be something about that intersection where water meets land that we can’t resist.
Post by OSIP Touring Filmmaker, Ben Kalina