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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Songs for Underwater Ice Cream Trucks by Michael Hearst

OBJECT: Ice Cream Trucks

BODY OF WATER: The Rockaways

 

Listen to Michael Hearst's composition "Songs for Underwater Ice Cream Trucks." 

See the (shaky) video of Michael Hearst Underwater at the UNY launch party on board the Lightship Frying Pan here, and video of Michael Hearst at the Word for Word reading in Bryant Park here


Michael Hearst is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer. He is a founding member of the bandOne Ring Zero, which has released seven albums, including the acclaimed literary collaboration As Smart As We Are, featuring lyrics by Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, and Neil Gaiman, among others. His most recent works include the solo albums Songs For Ice Cream Trucks and the forthcoming Songs For Unusual Creatures, the website Songs For Newsworthy News, and the soundtrack for the movie The Good Mother. As a writer, Michael’s work has appeared in such journals as McSweeney’sThe Lifted Brow, and Post Road. He hosts a podcast series with Rick Moody called 18:59 and is a producer for the website Cassette From My Ex. Hearst has performed and given lectures and workshops at universities, museums, and cultural centers around the world. He has toured with The Magnetic Fields, and performed with The Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall. Hearst has appeared on such shows as NPR’s Fresh Air, A+E’s Breakfast With The Arts, and NBC’s The Today Show.