October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
What I’m reading this week (in reverse alphabetical order):
- “Underground Scene: New York’s Subway Back in the Day” (LIFE website)
- “The Kindness of Beasts” by Mark Rowlands (Aeon, October, 24, 2012)
- “Diary: In Brighton Beach” by Peter Pomerantsev (London Review of Books, September 13, 2012)
- “The Choice” by The Editors (The New Yorker, October 29 and November 5, 2012)
- After Henry by Joan Didion (1993)
October 27, 2012 § 4 Comments
I woke up around 4:30 this morning and made the final decision to come home early. I love a good storm, but not sure I’m up for widespread panic, especially with my lease ending right at the height of the hurricane. So I packed, made the necessary changes to my itinerary, and left my apartment at 7:00 to run my last errand in New York — returning library books.
As I walked through the mostly deserted Soho streets, I savored my final moments in that great city — a divine temperature, friendly early morning risers, and cast-iron buildings majestic in the low light.
On my way back to the apartment to gather my things and hail a cab, I found myself in front of the first place I visited when I first came to New York in November 2001 — a makeshift gallery some friends took me to that displayed photographs taken on 9/11. Back then, I fell in love with the neighborhood immediately.
When I returned to New York last year, I couldn’t remember the location of the gallery (since closed). Finally late in my visit and after several dead ends, my investigative work lead me to the original address — mere blocks from my apartment — listed in a photography book.
I never would have guessed 10 years prior that I’d eventually live in that neighborhood. And this morning I stopped and reflected on that serendipitous moment again. Trying not to cry, I instead breathed deeply, took it all in, and said my silent goodbye.
* * *
At the airport gate, I was reading the latest New Yorker when a women on the same flight came up to me and asked what row I was sitting in.
“Oh, shoot, I’m in fourteen. I was going to ask if I could read your magazine during the flight. If you finish it, would you mind passing it up to me?”
“No problem,” I lied.
“Great! I’ll let you borrow my copy of the New England Journal.”
To which I thought that would be like trading lunches in grade school when I have Oreo cookies in my bag and she has stale graham crackers in hers.
* * *
Once I arrived back in Minnesota and settled in, I fell into a deep slumber. When I awoke, I couldn’t figure out where I was. I kept staring at my bookshelf thinking, “Where am I? Where am I?” But I finally figured it out.
* * *
I’m missing a great Halloween party in Brooklyn tonight. I had my costume all planned — Little Edie Bouvier from “Grey Gardens.” But something tells me no one would have known who I was portraying. Me and my obscure documentary film references.
* * *
I jumped right from Indian summer into late fall. The leaves in New York are still mostly green and on the trees, so I was shocked flying over the Twin Cities and seeing nothing but bare branches. But once on the ground and driving through the neighborhood, I noticed there is still some lovely color around to enjoy. And tons of leaves to run through, which I did this evening.
It’s good to be home.