I saw the sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge, yesterday, the winter solstice. I ended the shortest day of the year watching the sun go down behind the Statue of Liberty. It was 52 degrees out; I was comfortable in a t-shirt and my grungy yellow corduroy jacket. Tourists were everywhere, and some genius had come up with the idea of selling them “heart locks,” which are little locks you click onto the bridge, symbolizing, well, whatever you want to symbolize. My friend pointed out that if those locks are as popular as it seemed, there must have been someone coming by, on a regular basis, to cut them off, making room for more. Now that I think about it, they probably just unlocked and re-sold them.
Up at the apex of the bridge, we figured we would grab a pork bun when we got to Chinatown. I’d never had one. They’re supposed to be bread with pork baked into them, the same way some other breads are baked with cheese. Best around, I was told, and I agreed to try one, thinking of how disgusting it must be.
Helicopters were taking off, one after the next, off of a platform in front of the Statue of Liberty. My friend and I decided to go to a pier that was close-by. It would be a good spot to pour vodka into our drinks.
The breeze at the pier was refreshing. The sun had gone down, and the waves reflected all the lights. I made my screwdriver. We caught a buzz, went home, drank again, and passed out. I never tried the pork bun, but I didn’t really want to anyway.
On my way home, this morning, I couldn’t find my damn sunset picture, so I took a snapshot while I was driving. I thought the light and dark contrast on the roof of the tunnel was cool, but my windsheild was dirty, and that kind of messed it up: but, there it is, up at the top of this post.
Category Archives: Travel
It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m in a small town in Rockland County, New York. It’s about 45 minutes from the city, and somehow, the city is eons away. So, here I am, not in NYC but instead watching a brilliant, premature sunset through the stained window pane of a fast food restaurant. It’s not stained like stained glass—it’s stained like someone was flicking ice cream on a spoon at the window. That’s the only way I can imagine those dried-up, white drippy globs ever climbed so high.
The sun’s vanilla on the snow and it looks cold. It penetrates the leaves of a nearby bush. The leaves tremble at the mercy of a wind.
There’s an Hispanic kid eating ice cream and smiling through sparkling eyes; he’s telling his dad what’s what about fire-breathing serpents.
“Fire-breathing serpents aren’t real, anyway” he informs. He speaks between ecstatic bites off a plastic spoon. “Did you know that?” Dad is nodding and chewing on a burger.
I get to thinking that I miss being afraid of ghosts. When did that stop being real? There’s something heartbreaking about a life without belief.
Thing is, we can believe anything we want to…we do have that kind of power. Galaxies emerge from our minds; and those of us who don’t believe in ourselves may find it easy to disprove, to quote Douglas Adams, “god, the universe and everything.” edit: I think I got the quote wrong…:/ Of course I don’t mean god. I was just talking about ghosts. But belief impacts our experience—and I’ll never limit my experience to a sun going down over a bunch of snowy trees in December. It’s a fire-breathing serpent, and he’s going to hibernate before the night gets cold. It’s a giant ball of ice cream. It’s the fucking Egyptian God of the Sun, Ra, for all I care. But don’t bore me with cold facts, kid, okay?
I’m back in New York. I drove here, from Texas, in two days. The time alone with my kitten was exactly what we needed.
I’m excited to be back: I haven’t been to the Museum of Natural History in years, even though I was only gone for two months. Before I drove to Texas, that didn’t bother me—I was okay with not doing anything too crazy. Now that I’m back, though, it would be unforgivable to take advantage of my living situation again.
My kitten misses playing outside. A true wild child, she craves adventure. There was this one time, one of my neighbors was outside, playing with a remote control helicopter. She mauled it like a pro. The weather’s too cold for her here. Google calls it 29 degrees, and in Magnolia, it’s 39. I took her outside, yesterday, and in ten minutes, her furry little hide was shivering. I found her across the street in a neighbor’s yard, sipping water out of the cracks in his driveway.
I bought her a remote control car. I’m going to tie a string and a ball to its bumper, and see if she gives chase. Right now, though, the car still scares her. It may have something to do with the fact that the car’s as big as she is.
It’s so easy to be unhappy. It’s so easy to just not care that you live 45 minutes away from one of the most famous and interesting cities in the world, and then drive to Texas. Have you ever wanted to visit a city in a foreign country? I figure, why not do it in your hometown? Why not sightsee in your backyard? I think there’s this idea, the kind a lot of us have, that suggests we are happiest when we are far away from home.
Is that true?
The Buddhists have a saying: wherever you go, there you are.
New Orleans was nice. On my way back, I stopped in to visit an old friend. They’ve got these trees, there, these tremendous trees with looming, thick trunks and branches that look so heavy and exhausted from the thick Louisiana moisture that they just want to sort of sag there, draped on the palpable air, exhausted from just existing.
I bought a couple of pre-packaged long island ice teas and margaritas at the gas station. That was cool.
So, my inner compass is spinning, now, back and forth, not seeming to have any direction. That’s not true, of course…you’re always going somewhere; but I think it’s time to go and discover where I want this needle to be pointing. As soon as I get the chance, I’m gonna try and explore the city a bit…but I think I might need a little money for that.
They got five minute chess out there, blitz chess, and I lose every time.
I think I just need to get out there and wander around.
The Lone Star State can fuck itself.
Just kidding. But I am, as they say, over it.
I left the camp site this afternoon. It was a mellow afternoon. Shadows played on the earth, and it was nice to leave on a positive note.
What was really nice was when people started noticing that I was going. A small group of my friends congealed around me and my car. It was nice, giving hugs, being sent off well-wished. I’d spent the last three-or-so weeks in relative isolation, miserable and bitter in my tent, having assumed that I didn’t have any friends. Guess I was wrong.
Packing for travel’s fun, if you like Tetris—and I got a pretty good score on this one. I squished so much stuff into such a small amount of space.
I’m in New Orleans, right now, at a friend’s house.
It was pointed out to me, more than once, that New York could be a great place to visit, or to live. The city seems to be a point of fascination for those who haven’t been. I found it strange, at first: I grew up about a 45 minute drive from the city, and I haven’t visited myself in almost a decade. It took a slack-jawed dreamer kid to tell me his dream of seeing the Statue of Liberty just once, and this pretty girl who wanted to visit all the museums, and there was someone, too, who was fascinated with Central Park—Central Park? To me, it’s always been an anticlimactic patch of dirt and trees where yuppies take their poor undersized city dogs in Christmas sweaters to shit on the foliage while they gossip on their phones, using Bluetooth so they can utilize their pooper scooper with maximum efficiency. But, some people can find the good in everything.
I want that.
I want to observe, to be amazed by everything, to be at peace with, in acceptance of, everything.
When I get back home, I’m going to visit the city, starting with the Museum of Natural History. First, though, I’ll hang out in New Orleans for a day or three.
For those of you who may not know, I’ve been on the road since late September. I’m in Texas, now, with their Renaissance Festival. I figure this is a good a time as any to start blogging about my experiences. I wrote this content early this morning.
It’s Monday morning, and, behind the scenes of the Renaissance Faire, our Monday is your Sunday, in that most of us are off the clock.
It’s quiet. The birds are distant, their chirping sweet. There’s a series of bells blooming somewhere, the sound of beautiful metal playing soft, probably not too far away. They are hitting different notes, and it’s stringing into a song. It’s a little out of the ordinary, and in an ordinary town, I’d wonder. But this isn’t an ordinary town—this is the street where the Renaissance Faire community lives.
A gentle breeze lifts a nearby hammock, fluffing it. It makes a soft sound as it inflates, then sighs. I’m sitting on a white plastic chair in my neighbor’s yard. As the breeze dies down, and the hammock is left, rocking so slowly, hypnotically, between a tree and their trailer.
She’s boiled herself a coffee, my neighbor, on her propane stove, and a cup of tea for me. The tea’s my own invention. The main ingredients are cinnamon sticks and orange peels. It’s bitter, tangy, delicious.
Must’ve rained last night. Little beads of water dot the empty chairs in her yard. It’s fortunate that my kitten doesn’t seem to mind the moisture. She’s happy as a clam, content to prowl around the drowsy yard among the recently fallen leaves.
Word around the sewing circle is, she saw a cat fight down by the dumpster last week, and that’s why she’s been imitating a move she saw the other cats use. It’s sort of a prowl, the kind where the she is all caution, creeping sideways, back arched, toes full of stealth.
Now she’s started jumping around, like a little spring toy.
A zipper opens, which means someone has woken up, is leaving his tent. I can hear the trees’ remaining leaves in the wind. They pick up, for a moment, and the rain’s hanging leftovers slide off, drop down, and touch the earth.
An upside-down, dangling rose, it’s next to a pirate flag, and they’re breeze-bobbing under a red NO TRESPASSING rectangle, which is next to Christmas lights, which is just under their trailer’s window, which underlooks the gray sky. Gray, indeed. The gray was on the ground, too, this morning, was ubiquitous, was monochrome, but then the fog lifted early.
There’s an empty bottle of Mead on the ground. It’s next to a blue ice cooler, and surrounded by fire ant hills. Beyond this is a rusted crowbar, matted in a thick cake of dirt. It’s hard to tell the dirt from the rust from the indents in the metal. A long piece of dusty rope is tied to the end of the crowbar.
It’s a beautiful day off, here. Tomorrow, I’m destined for Oklahoma for a couple of days, where a new and interesting job awaits me. It’s funny how having nothing but loose ends can lead to the formation and tying of knots.
Anyone want to take care of my kitten for a couple of days?