Sunday, May 01, 2005

New Haven Interlude

If I could change the way roles were cast among strangers and friends, I would insist on balance. I would insist that no one gave more, no one gave less of themselves. I would ask that each listened to the other’s requests and, in friendship, gave of her or himself fully, with no excuse, no dishonesty.

I thought of this today as I walked the blocks of New Haven and looked up at the dazzling petals framing the spires and the buildings of Yale.
A Yale date Posted by Hello
A bridge of sighs? a clock? a flower or two, cheering the passerby. Posted by Hello
detail: flowers reaching up to ... a beautiful form Posted by Hello
Spring blooms and foliage almost obliterate an Ivy Tower. Posted by Hello
a recorder tells it like it is: simple and sad Posted by Hello
late afternoon: translucent leaves Posted by Hello

New York Interlude: if you cannot deal with rejection, you might as well pack your bags and go home

Save spontaneity for Madison. Here, in the big league land, you need to have A Plan, and That Plan better be made and hatched early, before you set out.

Last night it did not strike me until significantly into the evening that it would be cool to do something so New Yorkish as to be completely in the realm of the impossible back in Madison. I noted that Mstislav Rostropovich was conducting the NY Philharmonic in a program of Shostakovich and Prokofiev piano concertos. I wanted to be there! Suddenly, I knew, that more than anything, I wanted to lose myself in these works, looking up at a musical giant (how old is he now anyway?), taking it all in the gorgeous space of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

So I called and I begged to have one of the return tickets set aside (there are always at least two or three returns). I literally offered up my wealth and my labors for a chance at a seat. No luck.

In the alternative, I thought I’d walk to the NBC Tower to see if anyone was feeling sick and incapable of sitting through the live performance of SNL. Surely in this weather one person would be feeling sick and miserable enough to hand over their ticket to me. No. Throw up in the aisles why don’t you, but don’t give me your precious ticket. Fine. I wouldn’t either.

Perhaps drowning my disappointment up in the Rainbow Room would be the way to go? I mean, one drink, beautiful view (even if it was foggy, it’s always grand up there) – good plan! Except for the jeans. I hardly ever wear jeans back home (jeans capital of the world). I don’t even typically pack jeans when I go places (well, okay, as a standby for the mountains). But this time, I was on my way to SNL – how jeansy is that? Plus I put on my 70%-off-but-still-a-fortune Cambio jeans (never heard of them? neither have I, but the saleslady at Sassafras said they would put me in with the cooler if not totally coolest set). The elevator man took one look at my dangling from underneath the coat denim and pointed the elevator down, showing me the nearest exit sign.

Okay, plan number 4: stand around and look at Rockefeller Plaza at night. It’s campy. It’s touristy. It’s fun. Except when it is entirely covered by a huge tent for a private wedding function. Who the hell has the cash to rent the entire Rockefeller Plaza for a wedding??

Walking home I thought – there’s always Borders. In Madison, Saturdays are good Borders nights: the store is open, and it may be the only place outside of State Street where there are people mingling about. Take that image back to Madison. The NY Borders closes at 8 on the weekend. Of course. Who wants to sit at Borders when there are exciting things to do like the Philharmonic or SNL?

Of course, sitting at a bar, any old cheesy bar is always an option. Or getting out of the blasted Midtown. Spontaneity is more of a SoHo & Village thing. I should have known better.

Okay, but if I were the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, I’d keep my hands to the side when walking with Rumsfeld.

On why Bush was found walking hand-in-hand with Crown Prince Abdullah at the Crawford Ranch, see NYTimes story here.

New York Interlude: city mice

If you’re a suburban mouse, you have it made: fields of greens, open spaces, and a nice warm spot in a house to nest in for the winter.

But what of city mice? Do they trade in the open spaces, the clean feel of growing things for this?
 Posted by Hello
Would they?

How can you mark seasons if you are a downtown kind of a mouse? Sure, there are the strips of land snaking through the boulevards and avenues. Like this one: can’t you tell what season we’re in now?
 Posted by Hello
And even though some would not regard pigeons as good company, still, the city mouse need not feel that she is without playmates.
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Mostly, the city mouse has traded in all that vast peace and quiet, the fresh smells of soil and flowers and young buds and pine needles for the company of strangers. But company it is nonetheless, so that when a city mouse digs herself out of her hole late at night, just to shake her mousy thoughts loose, even in the rain, even in the windy, breezy night, she will be able to cavort with the shadows and forms of people out and about, mysterious and fascinating strangers, hurrying, with secrets and twisted plots guiding them through the maze of city streets.
 Posted by Hello