Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New York nooks

I've found a couple of spots that are perfect for sitting still, watching the clouds move and the people pass, and listening to music or sounds of the city.

Some perfect "art-brain" locations:

Greenwich and Vestry (there's a little green cubbyhole in the side of a building)
4th St. and 2nd Ave (there's a mysterious post - you know, those mysterious posts that are sometimes close to fire hydrants ... the ones that serve no immediately apparent purpose, but that look like they should be for locking bikes or tying up horses)

When I get my hands on a new digital camera I will begin documenting my favorite nooks.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Woyzeck @ St. Ann's Warehouse

See it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

too much, too full

Today I experienced something that I love about NY: I went to the post office at 7 pm and mailed two letters. It was my first time at the 33rd St. post office for simple, straightforward postal errand-running (as opposed to frantic deadline-meeting). The Automated Postal Centers (those nifty machines) have rather stupid restrictions in NYC (you can't have a transaction worth under $1 and you cannot pay for your transactions cumulatively) so I had to wait in the relatively short line to purchase my postage.


Anyway, I've sent my hs/r to a certain director thanks to a friend's referraln and I've applied for health insurance (nearly 3 times the price for a group policy in NY as it was for an individual policy in SF). Thank goodness for my AGMA membership. The Freelancer's Union offers a group policy with a lesser known provider and the benefits are dramatically poorer, so I think I've selected well. I'm just horrified by how expensive health insurance is here.

Then I walked from the post office across town to 1st Avenue. I thought I'd stop at Hangawi (one of my favorite restaurants, a fantastic Korean vegetarian place), but they told me they were too full to seat me alone and TOO FULL TO ALLOW ME TO ORDER TAKEOUT (whoever heard of such nonsense?!). Well, in the spirit of my very meditative day, I practiced non-attachment and moved on, meandering past the Empire State Building and contemplating the 25-40 minute wait to get to the observatory. The guard told me to come back later in the evening and they'd be virtually empty. I'm sleepy now, but it's tempting to wait until the last elevator and head up there. Maybe tomorrow or some time during the week. I can't remember the last time I was at the top of the Empire State Building. They're slapping on an extra $14 (on top of the normal $16 admission) for visitors who wish to go to the upper deck.

I kept walking and entertained the possibility of seeing a movie on 32nd and 2nd, but I was in between screenings for everything that interested me. So I bought a copy of American Theater and made my way home for scallops, toast, and a persimmon.

Then I researched the Leonid Meteor Shower and was told by my mother that some newscaster or other had announced that it was too overcast in Manhattan (to say nothing of all the light) to see it. I only occasionally believe my mother and, well, I certainly shouldn't believe everything I hear on the news, so:

why am I here eating grapes instead of freezing my booty off over the east river watching shooting stars?

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Danger of Bleeding Brown @ The Lark - Dec 7

Come see me in a public reading of Enrique Urueta's The Danger of Bleeding Brown at the Lark Theatre.

December 7 at 7 pm

939 8th Ave between 55th and 56th Sts.
NYC 10019
212 246 2676

I'm still alive!

Despite my atypical silence, blogospherically speaking, I am still here!

I'm in NY, trying to get my bearings.

Among the highlights so far:

*fantastic yoga classes at Virayoga (

*batty, old school jazz and ballet teachers at Bway Dance Center (

*an absurd argument about Borat featuring an 88-year-old woman implying that I was a "self-hating Jew" for appreciating Sasha Baron Cohen [I pointed out that, at least in the instance as with most any other I can think of, the term "self-hating Jew" is a trope used by conservative, older Jews in an attempt to debase younger Jews with a sense of irony] - the best part: the argument took place at the communal table at Angelica Kitchen (

*Twelfth Night directed by Declan Donnellan and performed by some outstanding Russian actors as part of the Next Wave Festival at BAM (

* a fantastic performance (as usual) by the Asylum Street Spankers at Joe's Pub (

*discovering that Chuck Mee is so in love with love and with recycling/deconstructing/reconstructing text that I had memorized some of The Mail Order Bride (currently at the Beckett Theatre on Theater Row) before ever having seen the show or laid eyes on the script.

No, Argan, not at all
what's left now is maturity
and the pleasure of everyday life
the sunlight in the morning, the trees
the lovely sky in the late afternoon
In spring the dawn.
In summer the nights.
In autumn the evenings
In winter the early mornings
the burning firewood
piles of white ashes
the ground white with frost
the things of life we won't be having for much longer

ah, but there you are
just having them now
breaks my heart
because to have them now
at my age
is only to remind myself
moment after moment
every moment of every day:
they won't last forever.

Yes, that's true
that in the end
the thing we love the most, this life itself,
we all will lose.
There's nothing to be done about that.

But, in the meanwhile, come, Argan,
it might even be you would take some pleasure
in being the one to give away the bride.
You and I are in that special time of our lives now
when we can bask vicariously in the pleasures of the young
and not have to suffer the disillusion
the bitterness and the anger
that will soon overtake them.


I sold my soul to a guerrilla marketing firm in exchange for some cash today (well, in fact, the cash - actually assuming the form of a check - won't arrive for about a month).


Anyone who attempts to convince me that NY and SF are comparable in terms of:

general cost of living
housing market
produce quality, availability, and price
accessibility and cost of organic food

will be wacked in the head with a loaf of sourdough or an Ess-A-Bagel (watch out, those things can kill you)


Among the things and people I miss:

Rhythm and Motion/ODC (especially Fusion Rhythms classes - there are some at Mark Morris in Fort Greene, but the teacher is on maternity leave - perhaps this calls for a sub, *cough, cough*)
easy bicycling everywhere
Rainbow Grocery
the prevalence of fantastically colorful clothing
Dolores Park
the open space of my apartment
an abundance of cafes that aren't Starbucks
my incomparable PT/CMT, Brion

Well, there's an update.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

here I go!

Last night before I went to sleep I saw something new.

I'd taken down the curtains and was staring, upside down, at the almost full moon. There was a beautiful, mysterious ring around the moon, a radiating lunar shadow in the dark sky above O'Farrell Street.

I looked into my neighbors' windows for the last time. I saw the way the really large building across the street, the one with the Korean restaurant, appears infinitely huge when viewed upside down.

I will never see that again, no matter how many times I visit San Francisco or even if I come back to live here one day.

I will never hear the contribution of my own quiet breathing to the soundscape - sometimes mellifluous, sometimes so cacophonous that earplugs can't guarantee a good night's sleep - of San Francisco ever again from that exact spot.