Also in this Issue:

Finding Fungi

Dennis Crowley: Foursquare Founder/Soccer Baron

The Stolen Church of Glenford

A History of New York City’s Water System

Way Down in the Hole

Jessica Wickham, Woodworker

Fixing to Stick Around

Farmlife among Friends

Taking It Personally


A Style Star Rises

Map: Hudson Valley Art

Objectified: Wellington Boots

Upstater Magazine   |  By   |  Photo by Roy Gumpel, Illustrations by Jason Cring

Dear Arthur Wellesley,
1st Duke of Wellington,

Do you mind if we call you Artie? We just want to say thanks for the boots. Sure, we get it, you did some other stuff too. You defeated Napoleon, lorded it over Britain’s Treasury before anyone else, and prime-ministered Great Britain, all while wearing wellies, and your statue’s looking great these days (thought you should know). But let’s put history aside: It’s spring in Upstate New York and the only things keeping us from getting trench foot happen to bear your moniker. In the wicked, rainy world beyond our foyers lie slush, mud, and puddles, all of which are waiting to ambush our etiolated extremities much like you ambushed the Persians at Thermopylae (did we get that right?). As we well know, wet feet are about as enjoyable as a Mongol invasion (swell job with that, by the way). Your boots, like obdurate armaments, implacably impenetrable, and stave off the inevitable—dare we say it—like a naval blockade. Whether we’re crossing Seventh Avenue, the marsh on our country estates, the Catskills, or even the Alps (that was you too, right?), we know that Wellingtons, or even one of their hipster imitators (sorry, MukLuks), are the only boots for the job, and if they’re good enough for the likes of you, Artie, hey, they’re good enough for us. So thank you, many, many times, for the boots. Oh, and for all the other stuff too.


About Peter Martin

Peter Daniel Martin wants to see, and do, and eat, and drink everything amazing in the Hudson Valley, and everywhere else after that.

Read more from Peter Martin