I was glad to read in The New York Times that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo took time out from their busy schedules to promote tourism in the Adirondacks, a huge tract of parkland in upstate New York.
The two officials, who haven’t always seen eye-to-eye politically, agreed to meet each other oar-to-oar for some whitewater rafting on the Indian River. Each was part of a team of six rafters — consisting of various aides, bodyguards and relatives (including Cuomo’s two daughters) — who competed against each other for bragging rights, to see who could complete the river runs the fastest.
The rafting competition was part of a week-long event called the Adirondack Challenge, designed to call attention to various activities in this mountainous, lake-dotted region of the state: everything from art shows to triathlons, live music to food fests, historic tours to lake cruises.
Many of these activities were tailor-made for traveling baby boomers, who jammed the local lodges and may have hoisted an occasional Saranac beer or two over the course of the festivities.
The marquee attraction — covered by The Times and many other news outlets — was, of course, the Bloomberg-Cuomo rafting showdown. Perhaps not surprisingly, the younger Cuomo — an outdoorsy baby boomer at age 55 — bested the elder urban statesman Bloomberg, an official “senior” at age 71. But Bloomberg was good-natured (or maybe not) about the loss, inviting the governor to a future sky-diving contest.
Hats — but not life jackets — off to Adirondack Wild, a product of the Hamilton County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, for featuring this event and promoting its region so creatively.
We can now all look forward to the late September Adirondack Moose Festival, including such highlights as a “Count the Moose Scat Contest.” No word yet on whether Cuomo or Bloomberg will be there for that one.
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