Photos: Is This the Hudson Valley’s Most Famous Graffiti?
For as long as I can remember, 11 letters spray-painted in white on a cliff face in Highland, NY has been a part of my life. I thought I was the only one who noticed it, but I was wrong.
There's a few "famous" landmarks in the Hudson Valley. Mohonk's Sky Top Tower, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and the United States Military Academy at West Point are just some of the postcard-worthy sights we pass nearly every day in our corner of New York. My nomination, however, is much more humble (and misspelled).
Jimi Hendrix Graffiti in Highland, NY
At first I thought I was imagining things when I suddenly had a blast of nostalgia hit me. I was entering Highland, NY from the Mid-Hudson Bridge on 44/55 when some writing on the cliff to my right gave me déjà vu: "Jimi Hendrix" it said. All of a sudden memories of driving to the Chance in Poughkeepsie as a high schooler flooded back. I've passed that graffiti countless times over numerous decades... right? I had to go to Facebook to make sure.
The Hudson Valley's Longest-Lasting Graffiti?
"I'm not crazy - this 'Jimi Hendrix' graffiti by the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Highland has been there for decades... right?", I asked. Luckily, I wasn't losing my mind. "Yes it has", came the first answer confirming my suspicions. "I remember saying 'Jimi Hendrix, who would write that these days?' a long time ago", said another response. It was time to do some investigating.
Google street view only goes back to 2012 at the location of the graffiti, but 11 years ago, it was still on the cliffside, although misspelled. "Jimi Hendnix", it seemed to say (above). Since then, the spelling has changed, leading me to believe that someone revisited the site to maintain the vandalism. This artwork clearly means something to more people than just me.
So what's the full story behind what I feel is the Hudson Valley's most famous piece of graffiti? We may never know. What I do know, however, is that I'm not alone in letting this strange bit of self-expression find a place in my Hudson Valley heart.