So often in this space I talk about the Hudson River. I live just over a block from the waterfront and it is, on a day-to-day basis, a wonderfully comtemplative and meditative place. I enjoy it the way others enjoy their backyard — to journal, to think, to chat on the phone, to have coffee — only it just happens to have a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.

This day, on my morning walk the day after a plane and helicopter crashed, it was somber. Gray everywhere. The tip of the Empire State Building was not visible because of cloud cover. Even Sinatra Park, the hub of all the media activity, was quiet. Remarkable considering the teams of emergency personnel, the Eyewitness News, News 12, CBS, Fox News and other vehicles present.

It seemed appropriately respectful as the boats engaged in the recovery operation went about their work.

I keep thinking about those Italian tourists. One minute you’re about to get a breathtaking aerial view of Manhattan on one of the most gorgeous days of the year, the next you’re gone.

Almost every time I’ve been at the waterfront since January, I’ve had a feeling of exhilaration because of Captain Sullenberger’s miraculous landing. You can’t help but think of it when you look at the river. That was layered on top of the experience down there on and after September 11, 2001, that feeling of always looking at Lower Manhattan as empty sky.

Now the Hudson holds yet another story.

Sobering, really.