Friday, December 14, 2012

A Part of It

As I finally begin this thing, It's dusk on the Hudson (please click to embiggen all pics):

I've been attempting to coax good pictures out of a bad phone camera, with limited success. :P

I've been having a truly fantastic time falling in love with New York. Recently, any mood other than happy had been summarily banned by my (very strict) inner Sugar Plum Fairy. She takes bootstrap-ism to a whole new level, I'm telling you. Mary Poppins, eat your heart out. She has her reasons, though: I'm in New York.

I'm a Deco fanatic; The Chrysler Building is my all time favorite.

I stumbled across this legend, like bumping into a movie star on the street.

 ESB tourist shot.

 The Chrysler Building peeking in on Grand Central Terminal.

 Grand Central Tourist Shot.

 Gotham in the rain.

 Midtown magnificence.

 A 'pocket park' - the first ever, said the guard - with lighted waterfall.

 Times Square excitement.
I was shocked that it truly lighted up the night sky, meaning the airspace a mile above it appeared nearly daylit.

 Macy's cheery suggestion for your holiday season. 
I nearly cropped out the people, but hey, that's what weekday New Yorkers look like. A busy blur.

 These shots are my favorites, the top three. Two Gotham, and one resolutely New York City:





I did finally indulge a cruddy mood today. I have been all about getting stuff done, and my stupid HAIR, of all stupid things, was determined to stop me from heading out the door. It would not cooperate. It would not hear pleading. It would not heed warnings. It would not entertain alternatives to the usual options. It was 100% incorrigible. So I went Medieval on its ass.

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Gangbusters. I went the fuck at my hair. Inches upon inches were lost to the unflinching wastebasket, determined to withhold judgment. I attacked with violence unbecoming a hapless pair of house scissors. They hadn't a moment to protest. All things considered, I believe I did a pretty good job.

I haven't told the story of my first couple of weeks in New York City. I will, as soon as I'm confident that I can express it with justice to its magic. It has been a beautiful 14 days, and even this day, with its undone errands and crunchy frame of mind, has its unique magic. It took place here, in my City, The City, where it was supposed to take place. My long sought-after & dreamed of home. I am happy, and humbled, and grateful. I'm starry-eyed & spellbound. I feel as choked up and excited as I feel grounded and in place. I live now honored just to be here, to watch & talk with its people as one of its people, to marvel at its history right here in person, to stand and stare at St. Paul's as though I'd never seen a church in my life.

St. Paul's in the fog.

It's full up with such time machines. It's lit up at all hours with 250 year old pubs, days-old cupcake joints, and timeless angels. I'm so happy, so truly happy to be here, in it and with it and part of it. I love you to pieces, New York, New York.

Go, Hawks!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The View from Where I Live

The view from where I live, near Riverside Park in Hamilton Heights (adjacent Harlem West). I'm staying with my old friend Bernie's old friend Bill, both of whom I've known for right around 25 years. He has a big, spectacular apartment with views to match. We're on the 10th floor of a pre-war (1912) building:



Directly North and down to Riverside Dr.



Same, but up. That's the George Washington Bridge on the upper left of both photos. Why this pic & the next are different sizes than the rest is a mystery to me. I didn't have to shrink these two to make 'em fit; I did have to shrink the rest, even though they're all from the same source, my phone, taken at the same time. ???



The George Washington Bridge in all its glory.



The west end of the GWB and the north end of the Jersey Shore.



Jersey Shore north.



Jersey Shore west.



Jersey shore west & Riverside Park.



Riverside Park, slightly north & downward from previous photo.

These were taken with my phone & left unedited (I may deal with them later), so forgive the quality. You get the idea. :) See them better & be able to click to embiggen here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Part II: New York

When I was 14, I promised myself that when I grew up, I'd go live in New York City.  I arrived here in Manhattan on Friday to the most beautiful kickoff weekend possible. I'm really happy.

It took just a moment to percolate: it is THREE DECADES later; I am 44. I had been known to nod my head (at least in comprehension & consideration) to the idea of not going until 'ready'; they said that town will eat you for breakfast. Dire warnings from all over. You get mugged. By 16 inch cockroaches that fly and keep teenage mutant rats to do their dishes. New York smells, they said. The people are terse, impatient, unapproachable. It's SO expensive. Expensive!!! But I knew in the very fiber of the core of the guts of my innermost soul that I love New York. 'Ready'? Okay, but what does that mean? For me? I felt like I was born 'ready'.

Maybe I was & maybe I wasn't, but I can tell you that right now feels like a cosmically exactly right time.

I'll give you nutshells of the first days here, the kickoff weekend and today, tomorrow. In the meantime, here is this sloppy but possibly [insert vaguely redeeming quality here :P] thing I wrote while high on railway ethereality in North Dakota. Maybe I'll tidy it up sometime. Probably not. I guess it's an inner-self-portrait of sorts:

Cannon: Elements

Elvis, angels & saints. My Pantheon. 
Yoda, Buddha, Evinrude, E.T, Super Grover. 
Certain musicians, craftsmen, messengers
Mechanics, artisans, soldiers, spies.

Phantoms, ancestors and beasts

Monkey & dragonfly, dog & orca, owl.

The nautical & the urban

Anchors & bowsprits, masts.
Trains, otherwise.

Ancestral memory. Architecture.    

The ever-dynamic meaning of home.
Launchings & time machines.     

Authors & actors, poets. Stories.
Coming to understand this thing as a narrative 
(‘Part I, Part II, Epilogue’)
The implications of that, the sacred ascribed, 
The careful etching of otherwise toss-off things.

It’s a box filled with small treasures, 
Viewed with an old, shopworn lens.

Sepia, time & wonder. 

A detail takes on its greater meaning, 
Gets fitted in to give the whole its greater meaning.   

Words, syntax & context
This infinitely variable machine, a meaning interface. 
Intention.  

The mathmatic, the cosmic/quantumWhere it come meet us, that point in sub-time/space Where they paint sea monsters on the maps The quarks and the anti-matter play.
Music, color & love.