Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Memories Encore: "Let the rain kiss you... Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops..." Langston Hughes

Even the homeless man wheeled his hand truck under the awning. But I threw myself forward hoping the clouds growing dark were lying or at least not telling me the truth for a few more blocks.

and then it rained and the two old ladies cared tenderly for one another as they prepared to step into the storm.

their love I cried later after the storm had finished.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Letters From The Most Beautiful Harbor In The World

Until I got on the Ferry I had forgotten how the smells and sounds were as intimate with me as Florence's music.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lucy Is In And Giving Advice On Staten Island

It started with the ladies at the pool who needed swim tips and some goggles... And then someone said something maybe it was Karen and someone else said something else maybe it was Lorie and before you could say "Ask Anything - Free Advice" tee shirts were made and you know when you make a tee shirt that's it. You're committed. So one afternoon in between the comings and going of the Ferry, the sea rising and falling, the storm warning it was growing and the skyline wooing anyone willing to stop and look, Lorie and Karen set up shop and, from expertise hard-earned-hard-won because they know their borough their city their own lives, answered for free any question asked...
  • What do I do first to start over after prison?
  • How do I make peace with my adult daughter?
  • Would God forgive me?
And of course the only question always there... love and love and love and... a marriage betrayed, a boyfriend loved, a girlfriend desired, a couple's confusion, a hope for union... and love and love and love and...* *Earth Wind And Fire-That's The Way Of The World

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Encore - Sunday Memories: THE LOOK OF LOVE

Today is Judith's birthday. She is 90. The elegance and spirit from which she has built her life continues to emerge each day, paving the way for the rest of us to rise and become just as extraordinary.


She escaped from Hungary to England as the Nazis began to round up the Jews. In 1950, she sailed on the Queen Elizabeth into the New York Harbor.

It was morning and the crescent moon glimmered on the water.

The Lady beckoned.

The boat horns blew welcome.

Then the city unfolded before her eyes.

It was love at first sight.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It Was Also Her City College. It Was Always Her New York

Mimi breaking the rules by not knowing they're there.

We saw each other around City College enough to recognize each other on the plane to China. It was 1986 so not many people were going there. There was a dormitory just for foreigners and I know there must have been other exchange students with curly hair just like her and me but no one immediately comes to mind.

There was maybe one western style hotel and a couple of discos if at all. One night we went to that disco. The club closed except for us westerners and the one memory I can really remember was watching Mimi and Jaffe danced to the song everyone had played from every Brooklyn stoop that past summer.

She was intrepid as much as I was timid so I went home after the semester exchange ended and she traveled to the ends of the earth when not many people were going there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It Was Her City College. It Was Her New York

I would study all night and sometimes even the day before all night for the geology class we both had to take as part of our science requirement and she would show up at the Greeks - the only diner near campus - and plying us both with hot caffeine that might have been coffee, I would tell her everything that was supposed to be on the test and then she'd get a B while I barely squeaked by with a C.

Misha is New York and the subway and the street and Puerto Rican and Jewish and the Mitchell Lamas on Amsterdam when nobody lived nowhere and sushi was one place downtown and she is embedded in my home DNA there are words and dances and story-telling-on-you and lemme tell you when a New York Grrl tells a story it is not a quiet event so go some place else for soft elegance because when we laugh we laugh everything and our whole bodies burst.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Special Sunday's Vows: First In The Eyes Of God And Now In The Eyes Of New York

Doug and Shawn got married.

Friends asked if they could play music for the party.

We all couldn't stop hugging them...

and hugging them...

...and hugging them...

It was a celebration of what America was and could be.

For where else, Rev. Sparks asked us, could a Baptist preacher marry two Jewish men in a bar on the Lower East Side of New York.

And after they cut the cake....

...all that remained at the end of the night was love, honored by friends and family and now, finally, protected by the laws of the land. At least in New York State.

Altar photo: Celeste McClain

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Playground

Me and Rags hang out at the benches both watching all the other dogs play. I get extra big friendly with the other dog owners so that maybe their dogs will play with Rags or maybe they'll make their dogs play with Rags. Which I don't think works with dogs. (It also doesn't work with kids but nobody really wants to cop to that.)

Eventually Rags barks at the gate and we leave and I remind myself repeatedly it's not my childhood, it's just a dog park.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Special Announcement: ITCH #13-THE MAGIC RABBIT Includes The Writing On The Wall

itch, an evolving artist forum cum journal/zine included The Writing On The Wall in their issue, #13-THE MAGIC RABBIT.

One of the few hard-copy journals surviving in these challenging times, itch servces the community of dancers and other artists in Los Angeles and beyond. Check out their website and take them up on their invitation to grow with them!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Memories: Mamalochen

"I'm goin' ta Coney," I tell Dana.

"Why?" she asks.

"'cause this Master's student is doing a documentary on home and New York and nostalgia and stuff and she asked if we could go to Coney to shoot some video."

"Oh. You're going to your Mamalochen."

And when I see these three after their morning-beach-sit I remember my mother tongue and the heart that goes with it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This Is Pat and Rags' New York

Pat and I have lived next door to one another since 1976. Rags moved in much later. She was Stephen's.

Pat's the real thing.

Grew up in the Bronx, worked the newspapers when newspapers were still newspapers and journalists were still journalists. Knows everybody who's anybody who made New York reporting the kind of reporting they make movies about, including all those tough guys that actors imitate when they have to play a "real" reporter.

Jupiter is still in love with Rags but completely confused about it ever since Rags stopped ignoring him and started visiting us. So now Rags runs into the apartment, Jupiter runs away, Rags sniffs all the rooms, Jupiter runs after him, Rags eats all Jupiter's food, Jupiter watches, Rags runs out, Jupiter follows and then after Rags goes home or to the park, Jupiter sits at her door and sniffs for about an hour.

This is home and this is our New York.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Home Home Home On The Range

At Queensboro Plaza getting the N or the Q because the 7 isn't going into Manhattan on the weekend

The same MTA guy there when I got on the 7 to Main Street three hours earlier, still there on my way back still shouting into the megaphone...

"I'm just delivering the information they can receive it or not" but admitting 9 hours of this well he was just going to have to pray and give it to God when he sang in church the next day...

...and the gaggle of boys, speaking something I thought at first Korean but one gets sassy with me thought I'd be too nervous to tell him yes his hair cut was very attractive...

...and when I tell him I had the same cut in the 1980s including the shade in the back he figures out I was born in the 60's...

"I'm good at math, I'm Asian" they're headed to a party, they're from Tibet, they're arguing about which stop to get off, there will be girls there and they keep asking me which of them I thought was cute ...

...he seems like a good looking kid" and the kid going "I'm 19!" and I go "I'm old enough to be your grandmother, you're a kid"...

...and them all laughing and pushing and fixing their many different hair cuts trying not to look too fussy, I say to the sassy kid "you want to know how to get a girl interested in you? Listen to her" and him nodding but hoping he doesn't have to do much more to get her to kiss him...

...and then after the boys rush out to somewhere in Queens finally on the home stretch a family - the mom, the older sister who looked just like the mom, the fierce little brother, and the middle sister who had asked the screaming MTA guy for directions because her mother didn't speak enough English...

They sit down and I knit another pair of socks and the girl asks me what I'm doing and who I'm giving them for and the older sister takes out their new pet, a beta fish they got at the 99 cent store but it cost $7 they named her Vanessa...

...and that little girl smiles and I tell her about my fishes Esmerelda, Harold and Skuzy and her fierce little brother comes over because he wants to listen and they all get off at 34th waving good-byes and I miss them already...

It's all home as I go home.