How life makes failures of us all with sunshine, and the gentle rapid passing of time*

wires on BaltimoreAnd, at long last, here, I write something again.

Don’t think I haven’t longed for it; time without writing makes a ruin of me. A mere responder rather than a decided adventurer. Time— without time to think, to write— renders me a to-do list, at best. Ugh.

And I’ve been feeling a right failure of Summer, honestly, Having had not a single true beach day at the ocean; nor any long rides on my bike to farther-afield neighborhoods. It’s made me have some misgivings about this new job, despite that I rather love it.

It’s down to habit and expectations, I suppose. I spent a lotta’ years being a sole proprietor (my own damn boss), and as a result, have certain expectations of Summer, you know. Lots, in fact.

garden in Butcher's Hill, Baltimore

But what I’ve come to realize (again) is that everything’s a trade-off. I enjoyed many years of beaching mid-week; of cycling all round town whenever I chose. And now the focus has shifted. It’s good, and just what I needed, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

It was a choice, and one I don’t regret. And now, after a long weekend in B’more with one of my dearest friends, my brother and his family are going to be in Brooklyn this weekend. So you see, Summer happens after all 🙂 And it’s wonderful.

Closing note: I have so much more I intended to write about, but it’ll keep. Summer pushes certain things to the wayside.

(Autumn has other promises, where rain is appropriate and welcome.)

 

*We haven’t failed! It only feels like that sometimes, when pressures lead us to think in term of expectations. Personally, I’ve decided to say fuckall to prior patterns, and allow new ones to form. That’s adaptation 🙂

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Like smoke suspended in the calm

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Here, a cluster of stone red-roofed cottages, and more of those trees with the art nouveau branches.

There’s a rock—huge!— out, away from the shore. It looks like a great fat sleeping bear. The mist hangs above the land in swaths, like smoke suspended in the calm of an afternoon pub.

Some beautiful old stonework houses with white wood trim. Fairy story houses in a patchwork land. A hilly autumn country of greens and golds, rich brown fields that roll and dip.

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My mind wanders– the slipping of eaves after a great storm; laden and bowed under the burden of water and other insatiable forces. 

How I have slipped, in the writing of my dreams; it’s a muscle, and muscles not worked regularly will atrophy.
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Look.
There are pictures in my head, stories— well, not stories, exactly, but beginnings; threads to be followed. Observations. My biggest challenge, always, is to discern and allow true things to come through. But the most impassable wall there is not the readiness of the stories, but me, the one telling. 

Fear causes inaction; that’s the obstacle.

The radiators have awakened for the new season; that moment when the smell of dust, of time, fills the apartment along with the warmth.

The steam-driven, radiant heat of old buildings is so specific— It feels sounds smells different than modern heating solutions; it’s too warm, too cold. It is by its by nature difficult to control; there’s no efficient way to temper it. I love it, and I hate it.

The soft rain has returned. It sounds soothing out the darkened window, and the neighbors have all gone back inside. No one is talking, no cars driving past.

I’m looking forward to a nighttime walk after a day spent indoors in front of the machine, collecting words against a self-imposed deadline.

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A walking tour: Chelsea to South Slope

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Work took me to the isle of Manhattan today. As the meeting was in Chelsea, I availed myself of the opportunity to walk the High Line. A fine afternoon for it, though I wished awfully I had dressed more appropriately for the [delightful] heat. Happy tourists; many languages overheard.
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003004I took a lot of photos. It’s what I do anyway, but at this point I’m practically a tourist myself in the big town. I tend to stick around Brooklyn a lot.

Everywhere is under construction. This city is forever shedding its skin.

005A long stroll south on Hudson Street, then inland, and through TriBeCa.  (Avoid the hydra of traffic all round the Holland tunnel; 3:30 is rush hour on a summery Friday; mass exodus.)
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City Hall. A tangle of angry motorists with their fists on their horns. Cacophony! A thousand arguments for public transport right there.

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009The perennial wind crossing Whitman’s beloved bridge is welcome today. And, observe: this curious Parisian custom has followed Lady Liberty across the Atlantic.
010012Ten or so miles to arrive back in my neighborhood, with slightly aching feet. (Why spend 45 minutes on the train when you could spend three hours on foot, seeing so many neighborhoods and people out and about?)

In which I travel to Baltimore and meet Luna, then to Adamstown to collect old things

me and Luna the dog, blurry, in the car
An overabundance of action and sunlight: lizzie and luna in kelley’s car

The waiting line on 33rd and 7th Avenue on Work Island is an object lesson in chaos; a spectacle to be avoided at all costs if you’re not there to board the Bolt Bus. As if that weren’t enough, the bus to Baltimore was 30 minutes late, and standing next to idling buses adds insult to injury on a summer day in NYC (as it generally already feels like one is standing next an idling bus on a summer day in NYC).

Several hours later, land in Baltimore, and a short walk to Tapas Teatro for dinner with the curious Miss K! The dog in the blurred images above is Luna, whom we took to the park for ball-chasing and swimming next day.

3 turn-of-last-century photographs

Sunday we set out on an adventure to Adamstown, PA, for Antique Capital of the USA. Above are but three of the fantastic old portraits I acquired in the many antiques shops we perused. I really love the tall format of these oval-framed portraits. I mainly stuck to books and photographs, including some photos for the stereopticon or stereoscope that I inherited from my grandparents. More images after the jump–

Continue reading “In which I travel to Baltimore and meet Luna, then to Adamstown to collect old things”

more wink.

Wink in his new condo– a fluval edge tank

fluval edge tank
the wink tank

 

(note: poor miss mimsy passed to the other side last week.)

travels


Amsterdam; the Westerkirk in the background.


Edinburgh; Dean Village along the Water of Leith

Well I thought I might have been better about adding things here whilst traveling, as I brought my laptop, but no, not really. The days are getting short though, and thoughts of the work waiting at home are beginning to creep in (no!). We’ve had unbelievable luck with weather, considering we’ve been in two places famous for rain (we’ve had a combined maybe 4 days of noticeable rain?). Wednesday we trained eastward to North Berwick, where we saw Bass Rock by boat– it’s out in the Firth, and home to the largest colony of gannets in the world. No less than 150,000 birds on this rock!

Okay, Arthur’s Seat beckons. More to come…

Edit Oct 05, 2010 – Look! The streetlights are aligned- from two cities on very different days in very different weeks. I love Art! Composition!– Rules that rule me, not the reverse… the rules that rule everything; the base of harmony that structured both these towns…  (yay)

a few photos (overdue) from the Upper Tine

The change into autumn has begun; less humidity, cooler nights, and Alas! it begins to grow dark well before 8:00 these days. In honor of the waning summer, following are a few selects from that weekend we went to the North Fork of Long Island last month. I cannot help but to get sad at the passing of summer, no matter how hot it was; I think this must be an artifact of my school-aged self. The putting away of summer things, having to accustom oneself to proper shoes again, and long sleeves, layers. The inescapable back to the grind-ness of it all (despite having been quite busy all summer). I must say I’ve enjoyed this summer; it has been flush with work, friend and family visits and even art- and happily with many more swimming expeditions than last year.


the breezeway

Continue reading “a few photos (overdue) from the Upper Tine”

A respite from the heat of an August afternoon

The Unisphere in Queens serves as a water park for many
Splashing about in the massive fountains at the base the Unisphere in the World’s Fairgrounds in Queens.

After a Mets game at Citi Field yesterday (they won!), Steve, Ben and I headed over to the Queens museum of Art to view the panorama of New York City, and just outside the museum resides the Unisphere, constructed for the World’s Fair in 1964. Such an amazing site to come upon on an August day in the ninety-degree range! We removed our shoes and joined the splashing immediately. The water was cool and refreshing, and the scene was incredible. Despite a sign instructing visitors not to enter the fountain, the cops happily  left well enough alone.

Continue reading “A respite from the heat of an August afternoon”