Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The family

I wanted this to look like a painting. Click on it.
What do you think?

Monday in the park

There was a couple in the park Monday trying to break up. I tried not to look or listen or appear visible in the slightest, but that is what I do, so I saw what was going on, what was being negotiated. Over by the big tree a family was spread out on some blankets with a picnic lunch and a deck of cards and a fat-tired bicycle leaning against the trunk having a nap. Their kids and a couple of the kids' friends from the looks of it, ran and ran and raced up and down the little hill by the flower beds, overcome by just the joy of being there on the grass in the sunny, warmish morning. I took their picture.
The couple was down on the overlook, not speaking to each other, not looking out at the milk chocolate Hudson oozing by, not moving. I took a picture of the highway below with a little of the bike trail and the river, but the highway had no cars on it, there wasn't a bike or a walker on the trail and the river (I came up here to shoot some boats floating) was as empty as a winter day.
I deleted the picture and watched as the couple left the overlook and walked up the stairs, one on the far left and one on the far right, they made it look rehearsed.
I went down to the old auto entrance, the one they used to use back in the 1930's when Ft. Tryon park was a place to go to exercise your car, a Sunday drive destination far from the downtown congestion. It still is, but you can't use the old entrance, it's too narrow for today's "wider is better" cars. There was an old woman and her aide sitting on the hidden bench, looking out at the river and it's holiday emptiness.
When I got back up to the entrance the couple was still there, not having crossed the line, still a couple of lovers as long as they were in the confines of the park. I walked past them, not looking, not listening, trying to be as invisible as a May morning breeze. I think they took me as a signal because just as I crossed the entrance line the two women embraced stiffly, one kissed the other's cheek and received no kiss in return, then they parted. Each looking determined, I thought, each stepping towards other overlooks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Weekend Saturday Twelve Noon

Just in case you didn't believe that everyone leaves town on the holidays.
They either leave or don't get out of bed until one pm. There wasn't a full restuarant or cafe in Gramercy Park. Taxis prowled empty and I saw one ambulance parked by a Starbucks while the EMTs slept in the front seat. Very laid back.

The Park at the Basin
A very cool place to hang out, right at the river's edge.
Fun to watch the folks watch the folks.
6th Ave Street Fair
The Street fair is kind of a floating event in Manhattan. Every Saturday and Sunday it moves from one street to another. When I first arrived I thought every fair would be a little different but except for the people they are pretty much all the same. The same guy with the underwear, the same guys with the sausage sandwichs.
I do want to try the corn frito with cheese.....

On the River It just occurred to me that I spent an hour on the river and didn't shoot any boats.


Chicken stand just before the rain hit.

The rain started with big ploppy drops as warning shots then the skies opened.

Friday, May 27, 2005

With everyone in black or beige this town ought to shot in sepia. A red stripe stands out.

The A Passage
At 168th Street to get from the A train to the 1/9 you have to go through a zig-zag passage to the elevators. The elevators take you down another 60 feet under the city. These people look like they are heading towards heaven....

Riding Home Friends This bunch had just come from their high school farewell. The starting point of graduation. The two standing are wearing tee-shirts with greetings written all over them from their friends. So much laughter.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Every day in New York is a kind of hiking trip. We pack, we pick, we schlep whatever will be needed for the next twelve hours before we leave the apartment. Water? Check. Papers? Check. Work taken home? Check. Clothes to change into if going to dinner? Check.Extra batteries? Check.

No Shake Shop this week.

Moving on. Frank, Kicky et al missed nothing by not coming down to the Shack last evening. I stepped out of the store at about 5:45pm and looked West and knew I'd seen that kind of cloud before, the greeny-black roiling kind, heading towards your unprotected position in a hurry. The last time I saw a sky like that there was about twenty five miles of Oklahoma wheatfields between me, my bicycle and the towers of lightning. This time they were just about overhead. The sky opened. No. The sky was rent from stem to stern, from end to end, from pillar to post, from A to Z, from ridiculous to sublime, from a point essentially equal to the position of my right foot to a point roughly akin to that of infinity. The wind sought out any passersby who foolishly thought they could dodge the deluge by darting into the shelter of doorways. I don't believe I've ever had the experience of West AND East winds at the same time, but there they were, butting up against each other while the drenching, pounding, pouring rain soaked the large and the small, the umbrella-ed and the exposed, those holding eight-hundred dollar briefcases over the heads and those with a plastic shopping bag tied on like a babushka. A group of us, soaked to the skin with a slight hint of wet dog aroma, clambered onto the 23 bus and watched as a gray curtain of water held every vehicle on the street in place and stopped the world. The bus crawled foot by foot towards Eighth Ave where I was going to make my break for the E train and just as we passed Seventh there was a gasp from the woman standing next to me. "Look," she said to her girlfriend,"We should have waited." I looked West where she was pointing. There was the sun. Going about her business, getting ready to do her best Frying Pan sunset dive, tying a few of the little clouds around her into ribbons for her hair. Rain? Where? When? I sighed a New York commuter sigh and squished my way down the steps of the subway and headed uptown. Joe(okay, next week)Nation


A bag and a bag and a bag. And there is probably a bag inside the big bag.

Three asleep
I've been looking at bags lately. Everyone in New York carries some sort of bag or wears a knapsack or wraps a strap bag across their body.