30 May 2006

recognition is due

last night, i sent out the email which may well have drawn you here. as soon as i sent it, i read it over and started to feel awful. on this day of mourning, a day which recognizes the terrible sacrifice made by so many, here i go sending out a cheery email, celebrating myself in the self-aggrandizing way which i seem to love. i know so many people all over the world who do amazing things and they don't seem to email all their friends to share. i don't think i'll ever send another mass email.

also, i should have mentioned that the piece some of you might listen to today was overseen by marco werman at the world. marco gave me the opportunity to share this story with a national audience and was instrumental in putting it all together, along with his co-producer helen barrington. their guidance was essential and i can't wait to hear the mix that helen has put together.

i've struggled my whole life with my own self-obsession, and sometimes it gets the better of me. i hope you don't mind putting up with it from time to time. please tell me when i cross the line, won't you?

26 May 2006

the tourists

i live on the second floor above atlantic avenue, just a block off the brooklyn-queens expressway. atlantic is a major thruway and the neighborhood is historic. the bank a couple blocks down has a huge plaque to mark the spot where washington watched the battle of long island. and so the tourists come.

from my second story window, i'm even with their open-air seats on the double-decker buses. they pause from time to time in front of my apartment. they're outside when i watch tv, when i stretch up into mountain pose, when i'm writing.

i don't know why it strikes me as funny every time i see them. once, a family was standing up in the stopped bus, filming the brownstones and downtown highrises. they pointed the camera in my window, and i waved. they waved back and were gone.

22 May 2006

the uu world

i should be happy. i should be proud. the article i started a year ago is finally done and published. i received my pre-release copies this afternoon. it's available at uuworld.org, if you're interested.

so why do i feel bad? well, for one, they requested that i write a cover story, which i did, 4000 words of it. and then they took me off of the cover for flower art by andy goldsworthy. a little disappointing, but whatever, it's still in the magazine.

more importantly, i don't think it's good. maybe i spent too much time with it, maybe it's been edited into the ground, but reading my own words, i don't care about them at all. i don't know, i think it just percolated for too long.

coming home today, catching the four at brooklyn bridge/city hall, i stood close to the incoming and watched my shadowed reflection pass in a blur. life can feel like that sometimes, like a fleeting reflection on a moving train, a sense of presence but devoid of any real substance beyond metal and flourescent light.

21 May 2006

home sweet home!

i feel a little anti-social, having spent nearly the entire weekend at home. but let me tell you, i just unpacked the last box and am all moved in, and that's worth sacrificing a weekend. it's so wonderful to have my life all set up here, a routine that i'm thoroughly enjoying in a place that i love. the noise is still challenging, but i'm adjusting to it.

no crazy stories this time around, unless you count installing drywall anchors as crazy and exciting.

it's not, but i couldn't have mounted a bookcase without them.

oh i just can't hold back any more:


18 May 2006

to my five or so dedicated readers:

i most humbly apologize for the long hiatus. it’s been a hectic move and my writing has fallen off the table. i promise to those brave five who type adventuresinbrooklyn or click on their bookmark (those are the true heroes) that the adventures will soon return in force.

for now, let me just say that i love:

my apartment, my neighborhood.

the sunsets down atlantic avenue and across the water, through the rising steel haze at the port.

the mets. i have a hat that has a funny mixed up N and Y.

the slate sidewalks, the avenues of stone, brown and blue and grey, the green of ginkgo plane tree chestnut cradling the firm earth.

i don’t love the trucks, the hospital loading zone across the street and the late night drunks from the bar downstairs. i try not to sleep with earplugs, but i do sometimes. i’m getting used to it.

but i love my job and so much else and every time a truck downshifts or a car rides by with the boomin system, i think wait, this city has embraced me, welcomed me with a little luck and put me exactly where i want to be.

over the next weekend the development of my room will make some real progress. i already managed to find a small desk that fits into a corner, an AC and a set of mounted wall shelves. the final piece of my bed and a new mattress arrive tomorrow morning. i only wish i could take the day off and put everything together. soon enough.

like. blogging i hope so – blogging
– oh my god is it okay to mention know if any of you really care about what my room looks is

blogging in a blog? i don’t

good night.

04 May 2006

pack it up pack it in let me begin

just finished packing and i move tomorrow. i decided instead of borrowing a car to just make a half dozen or so walking trips to my new apartment about six blocks away. i really don’t have a whole lot of stuff, so it shouldn’t be too bad. the paint is dry and looks fantastic, so much better than before (two dark brown walls facing each other, the others sky blue and bright orange – what they hell was this guy thinking?). i plan on sleeping in my new place for the first time tomorrow night, as long as the paint fumes aren’t too bad.

i found out a couple things about my neighbors over the weekend. there’s a tattoo parlor moving in next door and the bar downstairs is doing a major soundproofing renovation. how nice is that?

speaking of bars, i’m officially hired on at the black door, the bar in chelsea (even though a local informed me that 26th street is more like south midtown). i’ll be working every tuesday night from 4 to 4, but since i only work at red hot on monday, thursday and friday, i’ll have some time to recuperate. hopefully i’ll still be able to fit in volunteering at the yoga studio, but since i’ve taken a break to move it’s been nice to not be there. the trade is a great deal, but there’s really not a lot to do there and i don’t feel like spending five hours a week just sitting around.

i never had a chance to mention that last week i went to the final night of the marriage of figaro at the met. we were in the last row of the top section, so high that we could touch the magnificent gold ceiling above us, and it was still magical. it might be a crowd-pleaser, but it’s still my favorite opera. mostly i just got a ticket to hear the sextet in the third act. and it was worth every penny.

upcoming: cinco de mayo, a return to the red hook farm, and jonathan lethem’s fortress of solitude!

02 May 2006

today what i wrote in my gernal

may. day. mayday. protests everywhere. a day of illumination, and everything being in that state, illuminated, and finishing a book about everything being illuminated and crying on the subway, tears on joralemon street. a new week, new challenges. may. day. another day of painting, nearly the last. this incredible feeling of ownership; my place, my city, my home. my friends, my new life, new days. it feels so right and yet still so unreal, with no routine set, no established norms of eggs-and-bacon-and-go-to-work. i don't even eat bacon any more. but i can feel it, not bacon but normalcy, (bah bah, bah bah) i can hear the sound of settling (bah bah, bah bah) breathing down the hall, scrambling down delancey, crawling alongside the brooklyn-bound four train, exiting at borough hall and heading west down atlantic avenue to the room with one blue wall.

and there i am, waiting. i never wanted a ninetofive, or even a parttime tentosix. i even thought i'd never want it. somehow, there i am, waiting. i smile when i notice the sign "EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS" -- oh, wait, that means me. i get giddy when my hands touch the long brushed metal cylinder attached to the tall glass door between lafayette and broadway. i grasp the handle, i open the door, i press the silver button. the elevator is slow and unruly and stops randomly on floors with no one waiting there and everyone just lets the door stand open in silence. but eventually, that elevator will come down to the first floor. the doors will open. i will take it to the sixth floor. and my new life.