Thursday, December 31, 2009

holidays and homesickness

I am missing home. I am. I don't know... it's probably a lot to do with being a hermit in NYC and spending two major holidays alone. I'm just a little over the schlepping... the crowds... the inconvenience of this massive city. I miss my tiny town, my couch and my cat.

Today I took the dogs up to the roof (since earlier in the day it was snowing; PT's snowshoes were a mess and I rinsed them off... they were still wet at 4pm). This is fine. We go to the roof, they pee, we play a bit, we go back downstairs to the apartment. Today, however, even though I took care not to bundle PT up (less he take off), he took off. He went for the dread dead pigeon poop stairwell on the building next door.

Last week, when he went over, I got some looks from people working in the building. I'm pretty sure they're manufacturing counterfeit handbags, but that's beside the point. They don't like me chasing after the dogs -- but it's necessary as one can't get back over to our roof and the other likes to go down the stairwell of doom and needs to either be carried back up 7 flights (on a bad day) or coaxed. Regardless, it means jumping over the roof (like an action film star) and going down a very narrow, very damp, very dark, stinky, dead pigeon stairwell (seriously. This thing is full of bird crap... and the remains of birds... it's a nightmare).

Today I could smell the weed -- someone got some good skunk -- and for a minute, I thought, "Oh dear, how many pigeons have died down there this week." I wasn't thinking straight. PT went all the way to the bottom and wouldn't come back up -- not with all my whistling and firm, "COME!" commands. I had to get him. When I got back up, the other dog was now at the top of the stairwell barking in distress... and I had to chuck him back over to our side of the roof. That's when it happened: an older Chinese woman came out and scolded me. She did. She spoke to me as if I were a petulant 2 year old who consistently broke rules. She threatened to call the super for this building and you know what? I don't care. I've gotten to the point where I don't give a crap anymore. This isn't like me... but it's this place -- how it beats you down. I feel like I'm one of those people on the subway now -- someone who has lost their soul... I look beaten down just like everyone else; I MUST, I can feel it creep onto my face.

So I'm counting down the days. I'm looking forward to my big, bright skies and clean, crisp air. I'm excited to get back to my pool and swimming with my water walkers... even the one who has her hair done and wears too much perfume. I've got projects in the works for when I return home and I'm anxious to start them.

I also want to make my home more homey. I've taken the year off and had ideas for doing things -- primarily to hang things. I've got stacks of photos and posters and artwork framed and ready to be hung and it's all leaning against walls on the floor. My friend's place is full of interesting artwork -- some of it incongruent, but it feels good surrounded by the stuff. My house, in contrast, is very stark -- big empty and blank walls. I've got some work to do when I return. Is this a resolution? Eh, not so much... I gave those up years ago. Resolutions are written to not happen, so I'll say this is the beginning of my to-do list.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

coney island

I like abandoned amusement parks -- I like the quiet, the stillness which is in stark contrast to how they are the few short months they're open over the summer... Coney Island, I heard, is finally being shut down. There are plans, apparently, to redevelop -- but it's unclear what that means. I just hope they don't bulldoze, I hope the plan is to revitalize.

So today I took the N all the way to Stillwell Avenue to have a walkabout. The wind was up -- it's always really windy this time of year; it comes in off the bay and is killer. The beach was full up of broken glass pieces and disintegrating shells... plastic bags... syringes. It was altogether very sad, however that being said, I hope there are a few more seasons left in this ramshackle place -- where they still have a few side-show entertainments and crazy, dangerous rides like The Cyclone and Wonder Wheel. There's just nowhere else like it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

another sweet pic of the dudes

I have this picture up in my Flickr, but I love it -- it's so rare that these guys will lay down on the couch together; one is typically up on the bench and another on the floor, but this particular morning, they were together getting their Vitamin Doggie.

I know I haven't been doing much on this trip -- it's been a lot like just living here (or what I typically do at my own house), but that's OK. This is my favorite time of the day. There's an hour or two every morning when the sun shines directly into the apartment; the dogs crawl out of bed and find their favorite sunny spots and just plonk down and soak it up. It's after their little lay-in that we start our day with a walk, and these guys are really great dogs, but it's right here when they're quiet and content that I think I love most about my visit.

feeling touristy

Or not. My plan for NYC was to come here and do all the touristy stuff I don't remember doing when I was little... to create my OWN memories of places like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. As I near the end of my stay here, though, I don't feel like doing much. I think it's just a holiday funk -- there've been so many people just EVERYWHERE and I'm sick of it.

I couldn't live in NYC on a permanent basis; I think I'd never leave the four blocks around my apartment -- it's really easy to get cozy and comfortable within spitting distance of your bed here -- in fact, it'd be very easy to be a complete shut-in. If, like me, you're someone who likes to do things for yourself, *cough, laundry, cough* then this is a place that can really get you down. Most of life's conveniences are at your fingertips here, but getting to them and getting them back is exhausting -- it takes some planning. I miss the ease of my life at home... I miss MY little conveniences like having a washer and dryer in my house... like having a car... like constant sunshine.

Cec came out for Christmas, which was fantastic, but I feel like I let her down -- like I didn't PLAN very well and she missed out on doing things she wanted to do... to see. We had set plans for Christmas day which were full-day plans, but the rest of the trip was so disorganized -- we said we just wanted to spend time with each other; she's my oldest, closest friend and we haven't seen each other in a year -- haven't even talked on the phone much due to her busy schedule -- so this was supposed to be a relaxing time to catch-up. It wasn't. I feel horrible about that.

Onward and upward, though. We went to MoMA and took the Staten Island Ferry for views of the Liberty Island... and I think I've had just about enough of crowds. Will I regret not checking out The Met? Maybe, but I don't think it's going anywhere... and I know I'll be back.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

lion brand studio




Click a pic to see large.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

5ptz



snow day

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

guilt

Not gelt -- although it's the season, of course, but I'm skipping my swim today. I could go... but I'm not going to. I feel incredibly lazy... my hips hurt... I'm tired... I'm hungry and woke up late. I suppose I could hit the pool late tonight; actually, that's not such a bad idea.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

my charges

a lot of this trip is like a dream

Every time I ride the train, whether I'm on the express or local, when one passes the other going the same direction, it's like being in purgatory. The expressions on the faces of the people on the passing train are usually pretty despondent -- in my head, it's like they've been condemned to hell and my train is full of noise, full of people in limbo. It's just really dream-like. Perhaps I feel this way because I'm so damn tired (SAD happening, I think).

I also get to live this ridiculous life -- where I'm living in a loft in Soho... where I have pretend pets (dogs)... where I can have parties, but don't. It's really odd.

I also find myself talking to a lot of strangers. Today the first stranger was on the train back from the pool -- I bring knitting for after swims because I'm usually so chill that I don't want to disturb that -- I like to let the endorphins rush for as long as they'll go so I knit to keep my mind quiet. A woman sat next to me and took out her own project. I rarely see people knitting on the train. There are forums on Ravelry devoted to this: spotting knitters on trains, much like spotting celebrities on streets. It's odd. You'd think that in a city so big that the odds of running into someone else knitting would be high, but today was a first, so I interrupted her knitting and she explained that she's knitting a scarf for her husband for Christmas. It was really nice. We talked a bit about the shops around town -- where to find great bargains, etc (all of which, due to my sleepy state) I managed to forget, but it was really nice.

This evening, after my trek to the Manhattan Costco (Queens, you're next!) I was walking the four blocks back to the 6 and a young man started chatting with me! It was really refreshing. I like this random interaction thing. It's not as likely to happen in Denver where we drive everywhere... are sealed into our bubbles going from one familiar place to another. We don't get to share tables at restaurants or benches on busses (OK, that's pretty pretentious of me... I do, in fact, ride the bus when I can, but I don't need to, nor do many of my cohorts). Where do you meet people anyway? Online?

And then there's this: I realized I could start a cottage industry in making guys ready to settle down. They never want to settle down with me, but it seems 80% of the men I date will move on and settle down immediately after dating me. I'm like the gateway to commitment. How can I market this? If I were to come to NYC every autumn, I could probably make a good living doing this...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

etsy love

it looks like i can upload photos now?

These are from a "softies" show I went to a couple of weeks ago at Gallery Hanahou (Near NYU):

Sunday, December 13, 2009

buffalo by train

Mostly bear butts.