I work myself up into such a tense frenzy. Yesterday I had an essay about singing published in Time. It’s gotten a ton of likes and tweets, and then composer Eric Whitacre tweeted about and his tweet got tweeted like mad. Was I happy? Did I bask? For about two seconds. I’ve been obsessing about sales ever since.

So, I’m taking the weekend off. I’m going to try to make myself leave the apartment, have lunch at City Bakery, and then go to a movie. We shall see if I manage it.

And, I want this make next Tuesday’s New York Choral Society’s summer sing. They’re doing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, which I love.

A tiny shoot I passed on my way home from the grocery store.

Walking on the High Line, New York City

I was mostly talking with my friend Judith, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures. But this is Manhattan, everyone. Man! Hat! Tan! The jungles of Manhattan.

High Line, New York City

These flowers were so bright and colorful they looked psychedelic. This picture doesn’t really capture it, alas. But they were! (I stomped my foot when I typed that.)

High Line, New York City

And this just demonstrates I’m still attracted to all things in the yellow family. This is a building we passed by on our walk. If you live here let’s be friends so I can visit you.

High Line, New York City

20 Miles Down, 5 Miles to Go

Once again, a quick recap: NYC’s Department of Parks & Recreation has a contest—if you swim 25 miles before August 30th you win a tshirt. I’m in the home stretch to get that tshirt. On Tuesday I hit 20 miles and I have two and a half more weeks. Piece of cake. Must put together a list of nice rewards for myself.

I wrote that yesterday. Today I have completely run out of steam and wonder if I’ll be able to swim even one more mile. The contest was fun at first but in the end I wonder if it was a good idea. It feels like a burden now. It has even taken the fun out of swimming. I used to go back and forth, changing my stroke with each lap because each stroke is fun. Now I just do freestyle because that’s the fastest and I need to get a lot of laps in. I think I’ll be glad I did it in the end, but I don’t think I’ll do it next year.

Another picture taken from a bus, of my city of gold. That sounds like a line from Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, a book I love.

New York Fucking City tshirt Updated by Cynthia Rowley

The iconic New York Fucking City tshirt has been given a makeover by designer Cynthia Rowley. (I usually remember to step out of the reflection, but I didn’t this time.) Rowley’s version is lovely and I’d love to have one, but …

New York Fucking City

I must say I also still adore (and am endlessly proud of) the more blunt original. This was taken on the West Side Highway, in the days following 9/11, when we stood along the highway holding up signs saying “Thank You” to the workers going in and out of the site. This is me and my friend Anne Sussman.

Amazing that we could smile. Perhaps it was an automatic reflex in the face of a camera pointed at us. But I think holding up signs with sometime thousands of people gave us hope. We were acknowledging the best of humanity, instead of focusing on the worst.

New York Fucking City

Last Night’s West Village Chorale Summer Sing

Last night I went to the West Village Chorale summer sing of the Mozart Requiem. Summer sings are when choir people get together to sing while our regular choirs are in hiatus. I took this at the corner of West 4th and 6th Avenue. Sigh. The works of man (so pretty) set in the works of the universe (also so pretty).

Empire State Building

This is the section I sat in. There were a lot of people from the Choral Society of Grace Church because …

West Village Chorale Summer Sing

Our director John Maclay was conducting last night. That is him on the left below. If you saw the movie Amadeus you know that Mozart died while writing this Requiem. The last measure he wrote was in the Lacrimosa chorus and I marked that spot on my score with a cross. I always feel so sad when I get to that cross.

Oh God, I just remembered! Last night John went off on this whole tangent about going back in time to ask Mozart what he really wanted with the rest of this score (which was finished by Franz Xaver Sussmayr, someone Mozart had worked with and a friend). But then, John went on, maybe instead we should use the opportunity to give him a round of antibiotics to save him, and just imagine the music we would have had, and his speech just got funnier and weirder from there. I wish I could have recorded it.

By the way, much of what you learned about Mozart in the movie Amadeus is wrong. Salieri was very supportive of Mozart, for instance, and his wife Constanze was an accomplished musician and not an idiot. It was Constanze who introduced Mozart to the art of the fugue and insisted that he write some. Mozart adored her and you can see it in his letters and in the music he wrote for her to sing. That said, I love the movie anyway.

John Maclay