03 April 2006

ain’t nothing to it but to do it.

a cool spring rain is falling today, drop by drop removing from the sidewalks the words and works of my favorite sidewalk chalk artist. ellis has been in the neighborhood ever since i started spending time in cobble hill; his medium, chalk and asphalt, his topic, shadows. throughout the brownstones and budding gardens of cobble hill, ellis’ work appears magically, an outline of a fire hydrant here, a bicycle shadow marked UNFINISHED there. out on the town over the weekend, ameet spotted a yellow halo highlighting the shadow of a stop sign cast by a street lamp onto a brick wall nearby. i’ve always wondered if ellis would mind if i joined in his game of shadows, and this morning i found my answer – ain’t nothing to it but to do it!

it’s been a while since i've had a chance to sit down and write. i’ve been working hard to get myself established here, and my efforts have actually yielded some success. through a friend of a friend, i think i’ve secured a job as a barback near union square. it’s hard, maybe the hardest physical work i’ve done since teaching preschool, but it pays remarkably well for only working a couple nights a week. but what nights – last wednesday i worked from 4 pm to 4 am. i’m still in the training phase, and they seem to like me. i have my third shift coming up this week.

also coming up this week is a major interview. i sat down last week with the founder of red hot, (http://redhot.org/) expecting to have an interesting conversation about the relationship between music and AIDS advocacy – red hot produces cds with musicians from all over the world and the proceeds go to AIDS prevention and education. but since red hot hadn’t come out with anything in a few years, i didn’t have high hopes for employment potential. near the end of our chat, i explained that i had set up the interview to hear about other local organizations that might be a good fit. he said, well, i think we have a job for you. how would you like to work on our newest compilation? we have sufjan stevens signed up already.

i adore sufjan stevens, so much so that elaine refers to him as “my boyfriend.” anyone who’s interested in hearing a most intriguing artist, one whom i consider to be a new bard for america, should go and buy sufjan stevens’ illinois. sit back and be amazed.

so obviously i’m tremendously excited at the prospect of working with red hot, an organization that shares my passion for the intersection of music, health education and African advocacy. i have a second interview tomorrow and i’m nervous and giddy.

this weekend was sunny and beautiful. my god, i can’t remember the last time i wore a t-shirt outside. spring is in effect and i find myself taking long meandering walks to nowhere in particular, standing under blooming magnolias with some unknown tree that blossoms white lining the avenues around me and daffodils and irises at my feet. the brooklyn botanical garden’s cherry blossom festival starts this week, and since i don’t think i’ll make it to dc this year, i’ll have to go marvel at some home town sakura.

man, this weekend! saturday morning, ameet and i went to volunteer at the red hook community farm – a new york miracle, this place. a group of dedicated folks have turned an abandoned asphalt lot in an industrial neighborhood near the port into a raised-bed organic farm with fertilizer provided by the bronx zoo. a cadre of girls from spelman college were along for the ride, and their lunchtime step performance was well worth the hours of leaf-raking and shoveling. caroline loomis, a friend from vassar, helps run the place, and i’m hoping to get involved.

after the farm, to dinner with munish puri in the village. good luck going out to dinner on a saturday night in the village! an hour long wait at our intended destination led us to a walk through the neighborhood, where all the other restaurants had hour-plus waits. we eventually found ourselves back at the original restaurant where we feasted on tagines and fresh pita and stella.

then things got crazy.

jessie, as many of know, is my sister, who has lived in new york for a while now and knows more people than ever (lucky jessie!). one of her friends threw a fundraiser house party in the south bronx, up near yankee stadium. i was about to spare my sheltered readers the details, but i have to say that watching drunk teenagers throw up out of fifth story windows was special. ameet and i got home at 6 am. curse you, daylight savings, robbing us of an extra hour of party!

this coming week? looks like shifts at the bar are a possibility, along with my continued yoga studio volunteer work. then let’s add the big interview. oh, and my college buddy bret is coming into town for a couple days. and let’s not forget the baker-vaneks are in town for the month! baseball season is under way with the a’s opening up against the yankees, so i get to watch the games this week. i haven’t even seen most of the people i already knew here. hopefully i’ll have a chance to see them in may. good god, what a crazy fun chaos is this life!

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