The severed heads had been put on pikes for all and sundry to see; made examples of. The unseasonably warm autumn weather made grotesques of each— death masques submitting to rot and gravity; to the punishments meted by the state.
Passersby turned their heads, and covered their faces with kerchiefs, but there was no ignoring such a brutal and noisome spectacle.
That’s what some few of we Brooklynites call Manhattan— the ‘Hatters*. Also, Work Island, The Big Town. Often accompanied by a groan (implying the MTA, etc)
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time there the past few weeks, and it’s been brilliant. I’ve had to re-calibrate my perspective; always a healthy pursuit. Seeing my town with fresh eyes. Remembering why I’m here.
I missed my accustomed, promised Thursday post yesterday, but I was okay with it, fine with it, as I’ve been posting nearly every day for a month. Hope you feel soft towards my remiss as well.
For now, enjoy this dynamic of skyscrapers and rhythmic windows in the perceived (and sometimes actual) heart of NYC on a fine sunny day. Looka’ that crane, building more UP!
If you’ve never done, check out This is New York, by
. . .
*This is a Tara Lynne-ism.
Out the front window near my desk, the swifting plash of car tires; drips dripping off the curled iron of the fire escape.
Out the back window, where the trees climb higher than the roof, rain soft patterings on wet leaves; there is no wind today.
The leaves have not even begun to consider a change of wardrobe, as Summer lingers; couch surfing straight into October.
(This is from last week, when it was still in the 80ºs.)
And then there are parts of town that don’t quite feel like New York at all.
I’m always looking for what elements are the disparate ones; what are the real culprits that make it feel different. Sometimes it’s scale; of buildings, of the street or space around the buildings. But sometimes it’s something more invisible. A certain type of window or siding. The way the garden is planted and decorated.
Every now and then you come upon a whole city block, and the little shops along its length sport cloth awnings all identical, and you have to look around to assure yourself you’re still in Brooklyn.
The church bells are all pre recorded these days. From far away they sound real enough, but sometimes the volume is up too loud, and if you’re nearby you can hear the distortion.
The wires are a connective element; a conduit of civilizing electricity, yet there is an insistence on isolation inherent in the design of some of the houses here. Beyond an eye toward privacy, they sometimes feel fortress-like, extending a feeling of invitation only to those already familiar; only to those whose homes they are.
On a grey day, after the season has come to a close, these intimations feel exaggerated, thrown into relief, creating a different sense of drama— the sunny delights of summer recede, leave behind arresting silhouettes along the shore and among the stands of trees.
There is a hum in the wires. It’s faint but if you close your eyes it’ll find you. It was there before the wires were strung, but in them it found a conduit. It’s elemental, but not the way you may think. It’s not the wind, either. Those forces are altogether different to what sings along these undulating lines.