A big town that lately feels like a small town

I feel bad that I didn't do much of anything for Earth Day today, nothing to help the earth that is. Alex did buy some basil and tomato plants. (He also bought curtains which means for the first time in my adult life I won't have people spying on me. Or rather people won't have the option of spying on me; I highly doubt anyone ever did. I'm so tired of blinds with missing slats and the sheer purple curtain (pictured above). I end up doubling it up with a towel and just generally adding to the dorm-room look from which my family seems incapable of escaping. I think my parents, in their mid-60s, are actually starting to. Dara has my old futon so she's still a long way off.) Anyway here's the view from where I'm typing. The palm trees on the screen-saver clicked over at that exact second. Kind of an odd touch. There has been a helicopter circling above for the past 2 hours. What are they doing when they do that? Alex always says, "They're looking for something," but is that what it is? 

The Empire State is super bright green, so that's one thing I did in honor of Earth Day. I looked at the Empire State building which is a ludicrously super bright radioactive shade of green. [Sorry, is that insensitive to say radioactive given what's going on in Japan? See this is the kind of mis-firing that goes on in my neural pathways. They're always looking for something, or rather not looking, but finding, something incredibly tangential and related only in the flimsiest way. See section on why I get so little done in post from April 1. That's why I was so good at Taboo.)

This is such a funny neighborhood. I walked down the block today with some guy shouting "Fucking pieces of sh*t. You're all f*cking pieces of sh*t." Over and over;  raging, maniacal. I didn't want to cross to the other side for fear of aggravating his mood even further. But then two minutes later I'm on 6th avenue and everything's fine and three women get out of a cab and start screaming, "That's the Empire State building!" And at the local playground you always see people you know and keep having all these coincidences like 3-degrees of separation or less. You keep thinking, "What? How is it possible that you (a mom I just met) are a speech pathologist for one of a kid that has the same SEIT as Wally?" or" What are the chances that you (my cousin) would be in Trader Joe's at the same time as I am?" Or a girl on the subway who I just started talking to who grew up a town away from me. On and on and on like that. It shouldn't be surprising anymore, it's so common, but every small world confirmation in NY seems like some kind of lucky break. We live in a big town that feels in many ways like a small town. Strange how in a big town you have pretty much everything, but still you're always looking for something. 


  1. I think we're all looking for meaningful relationships, meaningful interactions. In a big city, one can feel even lonelier amidst the crowds of people, because it's even more frustrating not to be able to connect to others when you're in such close proximity to them.

  2. yes -- that's it -- meaningful interactions. art/music/writing (dance? theater? facebook? twitter? youtube? ) being other ways we go about trying to experience them. I like that Robert Motherwell quote : "One's art is just one's effort to wed oneself to the universe, to unify oneself through union." Lately I keep thinking about our disconnection from nature, and how much that's affecting us (also reading Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder). Lately though -- and I know we've talked about this -- I feel it's just amazing how much contact we have with nature here (in NY) and how much more time we spend outside than people in many more suburban and even rural places. All the parks, the paths along the rivers, the open spaces -- they are so accessible here (without cars even!)


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