Sunday, December 27, 2009

face time

dragging two bags, one returning, the other being emptied.

Pull into the station, tired and wet, soul folds up into a compact box.

Twelve hours of television, more than I've seen in a year. Getting restless and spaced out. People file in and out of my vision.

what's this? that looks like home on the tube...Broadway Danny Rose, Donnie Brasco, Night and the City...

next morning, volume goes down, sign of "the talk"

"you are restrictive." Actually I'm the opposite, I think wanting to run out is not restrictive.

" I wish you had some of your old personality." I don't.

Same old accusations...

I wanna go home, one more day...

next morning, soul starting to burst at the seems of the box. Dragging two bags, one that came with stuff I needed and the other filled with stuff I didn't ask for but I can use.

Heading on the train that soon becomes standing room only to the island of misfit toys. Box unfolds again, soul unleashes in full fury.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

playing dress up

sometimes a whimsical mood will come over me and the little girl that is buried somewhere inside, pokes her head out and wants to do whimsical things. So to take a scheduled breather from emptying the project in my head onto paper, recently I decided to go and stroll with the rest of the crowds to see the shops all dressed up in pretty lights and sparkles. In one such store of which I can't remember, there were beautiful dresses in the window. The kind of dresses I could never afford and even if I could, I would never want to.

So I went in and for an hour or more tried on gowns and pretended I was going to some society ball like in the old days, when the New York Times actually had a society section that announced things like "miss so-and-so had her annual tea party at the Plaza last evening and wore a gown of blue taffeta." Then I made my way to a vintage clothing store and tried on jackets from the 30's and 40's. Nice too, and within my budget except those jackets would match nothing in my present wardrobe. I would need the shoes, skirt, blouse and little hat to go along with it. Maybe a fox neck piece to compliment it all, but that's a project I don't have the time for right now... but maybe later. In the meantime, it was nice to live in a time warp for a bit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

maggie and milly and molly and mae...

...went down to the beach to play one day

and maggie discovered a shell that sang

so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star

whose rays five languid fingers were

and molly was chased by a horrible thing

which raced sideways while blowing bubbles , and

may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone

for whatever we lose, like a you or a me

it's always ourselves we find in the sea.

-Vincent Persichetti

Saturday, December 12, 2009

connecting dots

sometimes you have to step back to realize how unique an experience is, as you can become so submerged in it, or don't give it a second thought, until you are holding it up in contrast to something else. Every one of my connections here in my adopted home have manifested themselves from a single moment or action and has turned into extraordinary journeys that will remain with me for a lifetime..

the friend I met for the first time riding the subway years ago as she was peering over my shoulder and was interested in the book I was reading which happened to be by and about Polly Adler..anyone who is familiar with old New York will know who she is..

with said friend, got into a choir concert for free this past Friday and was given a Hanukkah present even though I'm not Jewish ( she is), of hand stitched scented satchels made out of tablecloths and pillowcases from the 1930's. They are sitting on my dresser in the blue and white bag she put them in.

the neighbor in my apartment house, who has lived in said apartment with her now deceased husband for over 30 years and he in turn grew up in since his parents moved there in 1928, the father's name still written on the door and the old telephone wiring from the 1930's that still runs along the baseboards ( I discovered that when she wanted me to help her program a new answering machine and got distracted when I realized what the strange painted cord was)..

said neighbor giving without me asking, the schoolbook of a deceased neighbor who had been 100 years old when she passed, brittle and fraying at the seams in a old zip lock bag and containing an almost 90 year old mail in coupon for makeup rouge..

pursuing the ledger book of the man with the broken nose and fedora who opened a whole array of connections with a group of talented people whose insight and encouragement I am profoundly grateful for, this journey is still in production...

and today, having coffee and cake with a new friend and gaining invaluable insight.. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I ran and ran...

Two parallels crossed paths this weekend, a friend of mine was running into or I should say away from the same form that has crossed her vision for the past 14 years, and as she is afraid of realizing what the answer will be she runs away from it, terrified she tucks the truth in a hidden corner in her heart.

As I walked in the snow/rain/mush late at night, I began to ponder what if anything I am running towards or from. I think my adopted city has allowed me to unleash years of not being able to run anywhere. I have retraced my steps in every neighborhood and borough a hundred times over and my eyes and feet keep looking for something different to appear. I look for it in faded signs, manuscripts and photos, yet I don't know what it is I'm searching for. Somethings have defined their shape or purpose over time, but others are still vague, shadows that pass over my vision at night, never revealing their true form. Maybe I'm suppose to stop to get a better look, but part of me is afraid that if I stopped running, I won't find what it is I'm meant to see.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

looking up

I don't think I will ever understand the rage of thinking one can type and walk at the same time, feet dragging as if the person is trying to waddle their way through quicksand. Or screaming so loudly into a phone as if the person is desperate to call attention to themselves and the conversation they are having with the anonymous person on the other end of the line. As for me, whenever I need to be reminded of an age where people had common sense ( don't get me wrong, they had their faults) all I do is look up and see things like this...

or this....

there was only one time I looked down and that was an odd occurrence.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

giving thanks for all of my blessings that have come to me in the past year....

Thanks to those few who have given me courage and inspiration in following my dream(s) even when the road has and does get know who you are...

Thanks to my family and friends...

Thanks for being able to live in another city far away from the drama...

Thanks to all the little pleasant surprises that have come along on my crazy journey...

and thanks for the opportunity to explore new things in the year ahead...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


a piece written here, notes scribbled from years before, tucked away in corners and hidden in jumbles of nonsense, resurfacing to be put to use, fire the cylinders again..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

you can tell alot about a person by what they say,,,

random dialogue between myself and a colleague:

Omari: " So have you found any new stuff with that music you listen to?"

Me: "Yeah."

O: Surprised, " yeah? like what?"

Me: "Henry Burr"

O: " Is he a modern singer?"

Me: No, he was big back then, original recordings from 1903 to 1928"

Omari: " Can you get that on i-tunes?"

Me: pausing, " Umm, I don't know, I don't download music from the internet, I'm not that technological"

O: mouth dropping, " You don't? where do you get this stuff from?"

Me: " JR Music"

Omari: pausing, " so you don't listen to any modern music at all?"

Me: " Sure...when I'm at the gym, but in my everyday life no, it stops at 1945, 1900 to 1945"

O: Do you have an I-Pod?"

Me: " no, I don't like them, I do have a small mp3 player though."

O: " Oh, ok" walks away shaking his head in amazement.

I walk away drowned in my own thoughts...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

night visit to the cathedral

I had walked by it hundreds of times before, having no interest to stop in. But I decided to venture in during the summer when I was hit with quite a heavy load of curve balls I wasn't use to and I needed to unload the iron anchor in my head. So one day I walked in and sat in the church where F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were married on a cold morning in 1920, the vast open space and stained glass windows offering a quietness I had been searching for. I ventured back a week later to observe a service that was not of my faith and although I was completely confused by the sit, stand, kneel and mumbling of verses as I flipped through a booklet that was of no help, the stone structure held a sway over me.

This time I went by accident, I was actually in route to pay a night visit to the library and happened to stop in. The pulpit ( I guess that's what it would be called, though it's larger than any I've ever seen) was shrouded in darkness, only the bright dim lights of prayer candles left by hundreds of souls praying for lost causes, good will or I imagine just guidance flickered on the sides. I walked through its vaulted doorway, down the street, headed up the steps of the library past Patience and Fortitude and was disappointed to see the doorway to the microfiche room closed...I had arrived too late. But I did enjoy the detour and got to break in my new walking sneakers. They need it with the untrodden paths I'm always on.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


you never know what awaits you on the other side until you have the courage to look over the wall... still climbing on many fronts, scratched knees and bruised knuckles but it's's all worth it. Everyday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

it's the small things...

it doesn't take much to make me happy, walking by and admiring the great stone structures ( the glass ones I ignore or hiss at) throughout my city, an out of print copy of a favorite book or looking for something that vanished decades ago and seeing remnants of it still there. So within this week I observed, a building that use to be a nightclub some 80 years ago and still bearing the brackets of the sign that hung there ( note: will go to the library and pesture the librarian to see said photos of such a place in it's heyday), spoke to a dear friend in Japan out of the blue on an unsually warm evening, and the sweetest thing of all, seeing a little girl curled up in a chair and actually reading a book and spelling out the words in it...

there are still some magical moments out there if you know where or more importantly when to look.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend and a foe.

Four be things I'd been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter, hope and a sock in the eye.

-Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

journey, not destination

*pic taken on a slow weekday by my trusty camera*

took a train ride this past weekend..whenever I get restless I look on the map, find a destination and then sprint towards the Metro North Station just in time to hop on board. I realize it's the journey that always seems to matter more to me ( with rare exceptions) cause once I get to said destination I get very antsy. But as I was suffering from a severe case of writer's block, I needed to recharge the cylinders some how. The picture above indicates how far away my topic seemed to be at the time, with me alternating between staring blankly at my screen in the wee hours of the morning or at my notes... and by the time I would think of something I had to prepare for work the next day. I think the trip worked, it doesn't seem as far away.

Monday, September 7, 2009

in a fog...

This past week was thick with clouds, plan to get back on track this week and push ahead.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


In the white waters of life she rafted, chasing a phoenix flying over the rapids.

-Lee Pwu

Monday, August 31, 2009

the family you get and the family you make

Visits home to see family usually require me to turn into a deaf mute. 1) Because who doesn't have a family member who likes to rant about what sister didn't pick up the slack, or complaining about life in general and 2) I have learned growing up as an only child in a large family that if you don't want others dissecting your life it's better to give them as minimal a picture of you as possible.

Me being the odd ball of the family, I rarely discuss what goes on in my life, as I know it will be pulled apart, analyzed and crushed to the size of pea by the time the said individual is done. So this past weekend was no different. I was glad to see everyone but was very grateful to be on the Amtrak train heading home. How the topic came up about the age old mantra of "your family will be there for you, your friends won't", I have no idea, but it got me thinking about the many variations "family" can have. There's the family that you are born with, the one you didn't ask for, complete with flaws you never knew existed until you are old enough to comprehend it on your own, the one that no matter how much you change and grow, sometimes refuse to see you for who you are as a person verses trying to force you into a box to fit their emotional needs.

And then, there is the "family" you make. I don't just mean finding a counterpart and beginning a new generation, but any group of people that you know would be in your corner, minus the blood ties. I've had an equal if not greater contribution from the second group over the past couple of years in ways that I could never imagine. It's the friend who in the dark of night insisted on giving me cab fare to the hospital when I thought I needed to go to the emergency room..and me getting groceries for her when she had been ill for a week and lugging them up a fifth floor walkup. It's the friend who listens to me from over 3000 miles aways and eagerly awaits what new thing I will find in old dusty boxes, and is never too busy to return a phone call. The friends who came all the way from Brooklyn to help me set up my first apartment...that was alot considering I could rarely get them out of the borough . :)

That's family too...but then again I never was a square peg so maybe my views are a little different.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

motto for the week...

"never go home when it rains" -Thomas E. Dewey.

and here is another hidden gem, it's been completely painted over now. ( damn contractors!) but I got to take its picture last year before it disappeared.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

back handed compliment today...

" I must say you've been researching some interesting stuff, I'll tell ya that." -the sourly gatekeeper of the Archives.

That's alot considering he barely notices me when I'm there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nertz...the week summed up in one word...

looking forward to hiding in here tomorrow:

and continue to put a vast puzzle together from old newspaper clippings and photos and then pulling my hair out later as it's strew across my floor cause I am trying to find one sentence written in 1931, or is it 1935? oh well, at least I know there is a method to my madness...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

once you see one, you see them everywhere...

..they just don't make them like they use to...


both my shoes are shiny new and pristine is my hat.
My dress is 1922, my life is all like that.

-Dorothy Parker