And just like that: Autumn

Brooklyn Bridger seen from DUMBO in the rainIt arrived with that kind of grey rain that settles in for a few days, so you just have to settle with it.

I was out all day Sunday and into the night; eight miles of walking in the rain, and when I got home the apartment was clammy like when it rains at a beach house during vacation and steals away some of the fun. 

I had to put on pajamas for sleeping. The beginnings of Fall.
A little park in the ruins in DUMBO
A little park in the ruins in DUMBO
A street lined with an arched tunnel of Locust trees in Greenpoint

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india ink blotsI remember when I was younger there was a sort of general consensus around the idea that New Yorkers* were among the most self-obsessed, narcissistic assholes on the planet, especially artist and academic types†. And, I don’t know, maybe that was true.

Things have changed though. Through the power of technology (smart phones, social media, &c) now nearly everyone is a self-obsessed narcissistic asshole— it‘s a goddamned epidemic!

Have you ever run into someone, and you’re like ‘Hey what’s new?’ and they start telling you about some ongoing saga in the middle, because they assume you‘re up-to-date via their posts on Facebook or whatever?

Now that is some self-absorbed narcissistic shit! And it‘s pretty common! Here‘s some homework you can do, in case you‘re feeling a little guilty.

Repetition in ink of "I'm self-absorbed as fuck"

*LA must have been a close second.

†My schoolmates and I (yes, art school) found this notion hilarious and kinda‘ leaned into it for awhile; it seemed a very Fluxus thing to do.

The floating city; a mirage in the heat of a summer day

lower Manhattan as viewed from Governors Island

My brother came to visit for a few days. We had an adventure-filled weekend, and I’m thankful for his visit, as I was when my older brother and his family were here earlier in the month. Not only to have spent time with them, but also because visitors ensure you get out and do things. Jon and I crammed a lot of summer into three days.

Above is the view of Lower Manhattan from Governors Island. Seen this way, it seems less an island than a mirage or some kind of magic allowing myriad structures to float upon the surface of the water.

Houses on Governors IslandChurch on Governors IslandView of the city from Governors Island

Continue reading “The floating city; a mirage in the heat of a summer day”

Cartographics color the way we see the world when we get there.

A non-exhaustive survey of art and culture in NYC, watercolor

A bit of in-progress work for a travel project— a bit of an arts and culture map via watercolor. I find it sweet and endearing. But then I would; I’ve been working on it for two weeks, and have become rather attached.

Can’t explain it in full, as it’s for a small audience, but I wanted to share just a sliver or slice of what’s been taking up some of my time and best efforts. To be repetitive, I’m so happy to be working at a place that makes use of these, the more vague or difficult to explain (on a resumé) of my talents. Overjoyed they want them, now they’ve seen the work in situ*, as it were.

NYC cartography of culture watercolor map

Continue reading “Cartographics color the way we see the world when we get there.”

A hundred eyes look upon us but cannot see us

b&w photo of a building facade with many windowsA hundred eyes look upon us but they cannot see us

b&w photo pf brookly nbridge, manhattan bridge in distanceTwo bridges in fog and no one to cross them

Views on the city with shifts in angles and in scale

drawing of buildings from aerial viewdrawing of buildings from aerial viewNYC roads and parks (drawing)

Continue reading “Views on the city with shifts in angles and in scale”

A doubtful guest arrived just before those invited

Saturday evening, perhaps twenty minutes before the arrival of some friends, as I sat on the Queen Anne, a shadow shape limped into my peripheral. I said Mouse! And then my tone changed immediately as I saw him slump to a stop on the floor just a few feet from me, and close his eyes. …Mouse?

I thought he may have perished before me in that instant, as he did not move when I interrogated him, nor when I stood up.

My mind searched for what I might do about his limp body. I fetched a wooden drawer that I’d just come across the day before, folded a paper towel in, and used a second to pick the poor thing up. He did not so much as blink when I approached, so I knew he must be feeling very poorly, but he was not yet dead..

I set the box on the kitchen table, and put a tiny butter-pat dish of water and some few pieces of granola in, and left him. He moved around a few times, perhaps trying to get comfortable. I’d warned my guests of his presence, and we left him in there while we gathered in the living room.

Hours later after they’d gone, I went in to check on my new charge, and found the box empty, without so much as a thank you. He clearly had recovered, with speed. Lord knows where he is now, but the insolence! Such rudeness!

Next morning after relaying this new to one of my visitors, I could only joke on the disappearance, “Just like a man!”  And then there’s me— always taking in broken things.

Some tall ones in the ‘Hatters

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 Miroslav Sasek. It is timeless New York.

.   .  .

*This is a Tara Lynne-ism.

The swishing of cars and in the distance, church bells

pedestrian bridge in Windsor TerraceAnd 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. 
highway overpass
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.

Continue reading “The swishing of cars and in the distance, church bells”

Seeing things in similar ways, in black and white

photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Cathedrals without ceilings
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Ornamental
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
As above, so below
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Words on architecture