Sunday, January 24, 2010

Observations Thus Far

In no particular order.

1. I always thought that being able to see the individual pointed, lacy shapes of snowflakes was a myth! How gloriously wrong I was.

2. My favorite subway musician so far: the one who was playing "Take Five" on the steel drums in Grand Central as I passed through on the 7.

3. Of course I realized that the Lubavitchers were weird, but I did not realize how weird until I saw first the travelling sukkah on the back of a truck and later the Mitzvah Tank. Do A Mitzvah Today.

4. My favorite sports bar so far: Broadway Station, at Broadway and 31st in Astoria. They show all the football games, and they serve food, and they are right off the N.

5. The roof of my building is silver and sparkly!

6. My favorite subway station artwork (although it could just be familiarity. but I wouldn't count on that.): The Bryant Park quotes! "tellmetale of stem or stone....rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of. Night!" (Of course, I am a sucker for James Joyce.) Not to mention "The unnatural - that, too, is natural."

7. I was walking past one of the studios in Ripley-Grier on 8th and I think 36th, when a piano intro began and a large, bombastic chorus immediately bust out these lyrics in impeccable harmony: "Abortion is murder! Abortion! Is murder! A holocaust!"

8. Cupcakes are astonishingly prevalent. Too bad they're not delicious.

9. The Central Park Conservancy is kind of shady (ha! ha! did you catch my pun? I made a pun! ha! ha! ha!). I'm not sure how many more details I should mention, given that I am supposed to keep these interviews I've been transcribing confidential, but suffice it to say that I would not work for them.

10. On the subject of transcribing interviews, not only do I now know everything about New York City parks, but I can talk for an inordinate amount of time about free range pig farming.

11. I had forgotten, after living for four years in Irvine, that in most places, precipitation lasts for more than five minutes at a time. Every time it rains or snows here, I run frantically outside, trying to get a little water on face before it stops! And then it continues for hours. It is so much less stressful not having to worry about missing it!

12. I was walking by Eugene Lang College some months ago, and two guys were out painting a lovely black wrought iron fence an astonishingly hideous shade of brown.

13. The City College of New York looks like a fucking castle. Seriously. It's beautiful. It's all stone and crenelations and turrets and archways and acres of emerald grass.

14. Columbia, on the other hand, looks exactly how I expected it to. And here is an interesting little comparison: At CCNY this grass has signs permitting - rather, encouraging - walking and sitting and lying on the grass but prohibiting sport. At Columbia there are no signs, but all the lawns are surrounded entirely by hedges, rendering signs unnecessary anyway.

15. Walking past one of the buildings at Columbia, I saw on the ground a pair of pigeon wings connected by a shredded, bloody tendon. No hint of the pigeon - just the connected wings. How fascinatingly grotesque!

16. I love to look from 60th down Amsterdam or Columbus, at the city and the sky between the walls of retreating skyscrapers. It is breathtaking.

17. I wasn't going to write a song about New York, because everyone write a song about New York, right? But then I decided I might as well get it out so I could move on. Done.

18. I love the "Welcome to Sunnyside" banners strung across the streets in my neighborhood.

19. I was walking home on Greenpoint the other day, by Nita's bakery, and a police car pulled up, turned out its lights, the cops started to get out - and a little guy in black who'd been sort of loitering under the eaves up in front of me took off like a shot. For a moment I thought "shit! shit!" (meaning, "what on earth am I going to do if I find myself in the middle of a police chase?"), but the police took no notice and headed on into the bakery.

20. I love the patterns the rain makes on the tree outside my window, backlit in orange gold by a hidden street light. I can look at it for a long time.

21. The way the sunset glows down the streets to my left when I walk north on 40th from my apartment to the 7 is nothing short of astonishing. It makes me gasp every time.

No comments:

Post a Comment