A Peek into Secret Not-Quite Gardens

I’ve got a pretty decent panoramic view from the roof of my building. I can see the Empire State Building, the Hudson River, downtown, and so on. But it’s also fun to look down, where I can see into several backyards. This is one to the west.  It’s not very green, is it? I would make this more of a garden if this were mine.  But maybe they’re all renters and they can’t. If I move my camera a little to the right …

… I get more of a Rear Window-type view. Everyone has a terrace! There’s no one there now, but when the weather gets warm, as it’s starting to, there will be more life in the back, and parties. I live in the front though, so I can only see when I’m on the roof. I’m not Jimmy Stewart with a telescope/camera. I can’t tell you anything about my backyard neighbors. I’m sure they’re all very lovely people. Not a murderer among them.

Clothing Sizes

There’s an article in the Times today titled One Size Fits Nobody. It really is annoying that there is no consistency in sizing. Until recently, I had jeans in my closet ranging from size 2 to 8, all of which fit. (I say until recently because I did a major jeans clear out, getting rid of anything old and raggedly which was almost everything.)

This is 5th Avenue in the Flat Iron district. It’s where I go to shop when I need something QUICK. I can just hit one store after another and usually find what I need. It’s not ideal because there are few stores where I can find something relatively unique. But at least there’s Anthropologie.

Quiet and Birds

Sometimes I feel most alive when it’s relatively quiet, and I can just sit and listen to birds. I don’t know what it is about them. If I hear the sounds of birds that I heard in my childhood especially—and I can’t even identify the birds I’m hearing—it’s like something inside of me wakes up. And I’m happy. Any bird sound will do, though. They all awaken something.

It’s usually the morning, of course, I’m listening to them right now, as I type. There are other sounds which don’t intrude, they almost fit, like lawn mowers when I was a kid, or a car or a truck now.

I wonder what it is about birds. What is it that their sounds are tapping?

Libraries are Always Scary the First Time

Whenever I use a library for the first time I’m intimidated. This is how I react in almost any new situation: get scared. But every library has their own way of doing things, some more eccentric than others (not naming names, I want to keep all librarians on my side) and I’m always initially anxious to get it right.

To prepare for my Library of Congress I printed out maps and made a step-by-step list, go to this room and get registered, etc. On top of my first-visit anxiety, I had only four hours to do what I needed to do and I couldn’t waste precious seconds standing in a hall wondering where to go.

I got there all red and puffy because I practically ran from the train station, plus I was dressed for New York and it was HOT. As a result my id picture was the WORST picture of me ever, and that just made me more anxious. But in a few minutes I was holding the actual papers I’d come to see, not copies, and I was thrilled. Some libraries make you wear gloves and I hate wearing gloves. It takes some of the excitement away. Oh God, this is sounding perilously close to you-know-what, but the sense of touch is so important and you want nothing separating you from the thing in your hands.

Next week, the Houghton Library at Harvard!! Which I’ve never been to so of course I’m terrified. What am I scared of? That the library will be staffed by serial killers?

This is the window of a liquor store on Hudson Street. What’s the deal with the pigs?

Doctor Who Returns Tomorrow!!

I couldn’t sleep one night and I watched an episode of a BBC series called Doctor Who. It’s been true love ever since. The show been on for decades and different actors have taken over playing the Doctor. They’ve even made changing the actors part of the mythology. The doctor periodically regenerates, and that’s how they explain the totally new appearance. The current Doctor is my favorite. My love for him is in the stratosphere.

It runs on BBC America and the new season starts tomorrow. Here is all you need to know to jump right in, and I promise if you give it a try you will thank me.

The Doctor is the last of a race called Time Lords and they can travel through time and space. His time machine is called a Tardis and it’s shaped like a British police box, which looks like an old-fashioned telephone booth (I’ve never been to England). The Doctor always travels with someone else, called a companion, and the current companion is Amy Pond. My love for her is in the stratosphere too. There’s all sorts of bad guys throughout the universe and my favorites are the sleeping angels and the daleks. There’s also another character called River Song. I don’t quite know what her relationship is to the doctor, and I think we’re not supposed to yet. She can travel in time too, apparently, and she and the Doctor keep crossing paths in time and there are hints that they might be married in the future.

There’s a lot more, but that’s really all you need to start watching and to know stratospheric love.

I took this passing through Union Square. That spire in the distance is Grace Church.