People from New York City love to brag about their water. Several times I have been in the middle of complimenting some sort of city-food, and the city-dweller feels compelled to drag water into it.
“It’s because of our water, you know,” they’ll say, leaning casually against a sink while examining their nails. “Best in the world. Makes all our food exquisite.”
This really pisses off some people from the Hudson Valley because…guess where that delicious water comes from? No, not from the East River. No, idiot, not from New Jersey or Long Island. It comes from a series of reservoirs in the Hudson Valley, one cluster sitting in Westchester County, the much larger cluster sitting in the mid-Valley region. Although these clusters are much closer to us, we do not get to taste their loveliness. We are left sucking on what’s left behind.
I think about this each time I morosely stare at the water glugging into my drinking glass. I have well water, which can often taste very good, but
my well spits out something a molecule away from formaldehyde. It kind of tastes like intense mildew, but the kind of mildew that has somehow sprouted on Iron.
The water is so unappetizing and noxious that my housemates devised an alternate source.
The fountain is located in Western Kerhonkson, about 45 minutes from my house in New Paltz. McWilliams, one of my housemates, had found out about it from who-knows-where…the location is very off-the-beaten-path, and doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere in Google, which is pretty much like saying no public knowledge of it exists. McWilliams told me it was the purest aquifer in New York State. The tales made me think of the aquifer as The Fountain of Youth. If McWilliams is any indicator, then it certainly is—he drank the fountain-water every day, and I had to be convinced that he was indeed 42, and not somewhere in his late 20s as I suspected.
The source is near the intersection of Cherrytown and Upper Cherrytown roads. We were lucky to be the only ones there; McWilliams said that there’s often a long line of cars waiting for the fountain. We had brought enough containers to transport about 75 gallons of water (or 680 pounds).
We started filling them up when the keeper of the fountain, an octogenarian named Sis, crept out of her house to see what the business was about. Sis was a huge fracking opponent, and spent much of her retired life campaigning against the issue. She mentioned that she was in a perfect position to do this; when people commented on how delicious the water was, she would simply state that it would turn into a chemical bath if fracking were to ever enter the state.
“My husband doesn’t drink water, though,” she said.
“He doesn’t drink this water? It’s so CLOSE, though.”
“No, he doesn’t drink any water. Been hospitalized three times for it.”
“Why doesn’t he drink water?”
“Well, he’s got this enlarged prostate…the doctors at the hospital always say it’s between peeing or dying from dehydration…you know the kidneys can shut down…”
After letting this information loose on our ears, she mentioned her belief that the fountain ran ‘crystal’ or ‘cluster’ water. Cluster Water (I looked this part up) occurs when different water molecules are connected by hydrogen bonds. According to my research, cluster water has not been found in nature, and has only been formulated in obscure laboratory settings.
So I’m not really sure about that. Nonetheless, when Sis told me to drink a bottle from the fountain immediately, before the clusters could break apart, I did. It was by far the best water my mouth had ever had the pleasure to taste
Take THAT, NYC.