[Scarecrow ]

Scarecrow

[Bus Stop ]

Bus Stop

[Fire Station ]

Fire Station

[The Park]

The Park

[Invergowrie store ]

Invergowrie store

[Invergowrie Store by night ]

Invergowrie Store by night

[Is that a TARDIS ? ]

Is that a TARDIS ?

[Driving down the main Road ]

Driving down the main Road

January 10, 2015

I have been following the ongoing battle in New York to allow horse drawn carriages to stay in NYC.

Horses and Carriages are a wonderful way to see a place, going along at 5 or 10km and hour really allows you to soak in the atmosphere, and there is nothing like the sight of a horse dawn vehicle to make people smile and wave. I still clearly remember the carriage drive my Mum took me on in Bridlington, England, when I was 16, it was the highlight of my trip to Europe.

Now in some countries, like Egypt, the horses are in poor condition and often made to work when sick or injured. Itís a terrible Catch-22 in these areas, itís a case of lack of education and extreme poverty, and in instances where the tourist trade dries up (such as the Egyptian riots of recent years) the horses die of starvation because their owners have no income and canít afford to feed their own family, let alone a horse.

The horses in New York are well cared for, and heavily regulated. For many children, petting a carriage horse (or a police horse) may be the only contact they will ever have with horses in their lives, and I find that deeply sad. This industry should not be closed down. The push to close down the carriages is being funded by Real estate tycoons who want the stables vacated so they can build more high-rise and make a huge profit.

If the industry is closed down, over 500 families will lose their livelihoods. That is more than the population of Invergowrie, so I decided to go out and do a Ďvirtualí horse drawn tour of Invergowrie, to show how Invergowrie squares up against New York.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS :

New York has the Statue of Liberty. Invergowrie has a scarecrow on a ride-on mower. The Scarecrow gets dressed up to celebrate annual festivities. Last week he is in a Santa Suit, now he is out there with an aussie flag for Australia Day. You donít see the Statue of Liberty dressed as Santa now do you ?

TRANPORTATION:

Apparently New Yorkís Grand Central station is a magnificent sight. But so is the Invergowrie School bus-stop. It must have significant cultural heritage to Invergowrie as the kids donít even sit in it, they sit in a gaggle of cars and utes with their parents waiting for the bus, so maybe the bus stop is now the property of the National trust and considered too valuable a piece of Australian History to allow it to be used ? I will have to investigate further.

FIRE FIGHTING:

The Fire Fighters on New York have become international heroes since 9-11. But I reckon our Invergowrie fire Station and fire fighters are one up on them. The reason why Ė because they do it for free! These brave men and women volunteer fire fighters dedicate huge amounts of time and resources to keep our local area safe. It takes a special kind of person to do that, and there are so many in Australia who do. Hats off to you guys (and a big hug to my friends the Casper family in Sydney and the Wilcoxson family in Braidwood who are heavily involved in the Rural Fire service ).

ENTERTAINMENT:

Yes, New York has Broadway, and a huge amount of Entertainment options, but Invergowrie is a tiny village, and we have a really nice playground. Itís totally safe, no vandalism or used syringes lying about, and some rather awesome play equipment including a rock climbing wall ! And it gets used a lot by the local children rather than the children getting scared off by skulking teenagers. And there is a BBQ and a clean public toilet, I reckon a clean public toilet may be hard to come by in New York.

SHOPPING:

Well of course New York is world-renowned for itís shopping opportunities, but at Invergowrie we have THE SHOP. It is the heart of the community. Who needs to spend a day browsing Maceys or Tiffanys when you have a shop where you can get everything you need! In one place I can get Diesel for my truck, Horse Feed, Poultry feed, Groceries, Wine, take-away pizza, newspapers, video rentals, a roast chicken and a cappuccino ? AND they have parking for horses and carriages, which I discovered after I chased a pair of Clydesdales pulling a carriage down the street a couple of weeks ago to discover they were going to Invergowrie Shop for lunch. There is a small paddock out the back where they unhitched and tied up the Clydesdales whilst they went in and got their coffees. Next time I have friends up I am so going to drive there with the ponies for lunch (even though it would take us less time to walk there, itís the principal).

And at night they have some coloured lights strung up, I reckon there must be over 20? Who needs Times Square I ask?

Oh, and there is a phone box. And Iíve even seen people using it. That must be heritage listed along with the bus stopÖ.

TRAFFIC:

New York has Gridlock. Invergowrieís idea of a traffic jam is when there are more than 3 cars at the shop. Enough said.

IN CONCLUSION:
Well given a choice between Invergowrie and New York I know where Iíd rather live.

And I must say, Invergowrie has a shop, a playground, a fire station and a bus-stop. The next village along, Arding, has nothing but a church, and the village along after that, Rocky River has a Fire-Station and a school but nothing else.

BUT BACK TO THE NYC CARRIAGE HORSES:

If my rant above has interested you Ė Google 'Save New York Carriage Horses'

Posted by Amanda on January 10, 2015 04:46 PM