Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

new york city


Notes:

  • Photo: wsj.com – A camel used in a live nativity scene in the annual production of the ‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ walks up Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall in New York City after being blessed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York. (By Justin Lane, European Press)
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Fly By Night: Soundless music heard with the eyes

Friday through Sunday evenings at dusk, a massive flock of pigeons will elegantly twirl, swoop, and glide above the East River, as artist Duke Riley orchestrates a series of performances occurring regularly throughout late spring. At the call of a whistle, thousands of birds will emerge from their home in a grand, converted historic boat docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The pigeons will circle above the river as the sun sets over Manhattan, and small leg bands, historically used to carry messages, will be replaced with tiny LED lights, illuminating the sky in a transcendent union of public art and nature.¹

Fly By Night pays homage to pigeon keeping, both in New York and farther afield. Pigeons have been domesticated for thousands of years and kept by people around the world for their companionship, sport, and service…Fly By Night reflects back on and makes visible this largely forgotten culture. The iconic Brooklyn Navy Yard, once home to the country’s largest naval fleet of pigeon carriers, is the ideal setting for Riley’s Fly By Night–a tribute to the beautiful, diverse and fascinating histories of pigeon flying and New York City.¹

On Thursday evening, the pigeons taught everyone on hand quite a bit about their intelligence, their ability to collaborate with earthbound beings and their beauty when airborne. Despite clouds and chilly temperatures, the birds’ performance was a revelation, a touching unity of human and animal behavior, with sky, water and the city…Most special about watching these pigeons was the silence of their flight. Somewhat like trees, but more mysteriously, they seemed to make visible the wind’s movements. They also created a soundless music heard with the eyes, a Beethovian swirl of melodies and themes. Both sensations brought a sharper appreciation of space and air as active or sheltering forces that we share with all living things.²


Thank you Susan. Excerpts from:

  1. Creative Time
  2. NY Times Review: In ‘Fly by Night,’ Pigeons Light Up the Brooklyn Navy Yard

1/2 ounce and a beacon in the darkness

The NY Times has an average circulation exceeding 2,000,000 readers daily. And the story that ranked as “Most Popular” yesterday, amidst a deluge of daily news bleakness, was this one:

NY Times: Painted Bunting, a Rare Visitor to Brooklyn, Gives Birders Cause to Stare

painted-bunting-bird

“The object of fascination was a male painted bunting, an avian connoisseur of grassland never before seen in Brooklyn — and rarely found much north of Arkansas — that has drawn crowds of bird-watchers to Prospect Park since its discovery on Sunday.

“…for 30 breathtaking seconds, he put on a show, no binoculars necessary, flitting up into a bare serviceberry shrub, then darting right across the path to land in a patch of orange winterberries until a mockingbird swooped in and chased him off.  Scott Schulman, the manager of LeFrak Center, who happened to wander up the hill just in time, looked around in wonder.

“That was remarkable, to say the least,” he said. “Wow.”

painted-bunting-bird-2


Image Credits: #1 – Kirsten Luce.  #2: Daisylanepaul

Riding Metro North. With the Blues.

moving-train

I run out the door at 5:30 a.m. to catch the 5:40 Express to Grand Central.
55° F. Breezy. A spring day in November.
Hit me Big Man, hit me with more of this.

There, out of the corner of my right eye, it slithers. A brown snake.  A full cup of spilled coffee tipped by the jarring of steel on rough track.  It’s three feet away and closing in.  Roots of the tree spread.

I point.  He catches my eye. He shifts to the empty seat on his left as the snake veers to his right.  He tips his hat, grateful.

We both watch the flow, creeping. Two men.  A suit on one side with his Tumi bag, Shinola Watch and e-Reader in hand.  A construction worker on the other side, with his well-worn blue jeans, a green florescent vest, steel toe boots, leather supple and well oiled. A lunch bag is tucked on top of his backpack.

He turns to his NY Post.

I turn to my e-Reader.

And my morning reader starts to pop.

Michael Wade: “I would be impressed by a college that gives credits for blue collar labor.”

NY TimesHalf of New Yorkers Say They Are Barely or Not Getting By, Poll Shows

Steve Layman: You probably don’t deserve what you have. So keep moving and earn it” via Austin Kleon.

The train pulls into Grand Central. And we pour out. I approach the main terminal.

“Awwww Puppy.”  I see an older dog ahead at the entrance.  A golden lab mix on a leash wearing a blue vest.  You look like a “Sadie.” [Read more…]

Riding Metro North. Vive la France.

moving-train

Monday.

2:45 am.

How quiet it is.
Too soon to wake.
Too late to stop the mind.
A hamster on the wheel, spinning.

Duras: “How quiet it is,” […] “Who’d believe our nights are such an ordeal?”

3:30 am.

Up.
Pre-dawn.
In the Quiet Zone.
Ascending to de Botton’s higher consciousness. Or somewhere.

Alain de Botton: “Perhaps late at night or early in the morning (when there are no threats or demands on us), when our bodies and passions are comfortable and quiescent, we have the privilege of being able to access the higher mind …We loosen our hold on our own egos and ascend to a less biased and more universal perspective, casting off a little of the customary anxious self-justification and brittle pride.”

I do feel that ascension. Now if I could only park here.

6:51 a.m.

Father and his daughter walk to train station.  It’s 45° F.  “It’s cold Dad.” I look down at her bare red legs pockmarked with goose bumps: “Why aren’t you wearing nylons?” She snaps back at me: “Really Dad? Nylons. Nobody wears Nylons anymore? That’s creepy.

So, now I’m on the wrong side of 50 and creepy.  OK, so it wasn’t a focus area. And, it’s not that I haven’t looked at women’s legs. And there you are, a flat stone skipping silently across the water, jumping decades of fashion revolution. [Read more…]

Riding Metro North. It’s that time…

train

6:38 am. 36° F.
November 9th. First day of overcoat weather.

I snag one of the last seats on the aisle.
Iron Man is full, standing room only.
And it’s Iron Man, not Iron Woman, or Iron Person.
Nothing graceful about a single, 145,000 pound train car.
No curves. No nuance.
A muscle car. A Beast.
Clacking steel on steel.
The wind gust from a passing train slams the air pocket in the bi-folding doors.

It’s Monday morning. Silence.
Commuter Code: No Exceptions. All cars are quiet cars. No Talking. NO TALKING.
Newspapers? None in sight.
Trees saved.  Whispers of flicking fingers on digital. The new order.

I’m a Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner, sucking up and digesting two morning papers, unread blog posts, two chapters of Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking and onto morning meeting preparation. Mr. Pro-duct-tivity.  A good night sleep + all body parts functioning + who-knows-what = This Machine is Rollin’.

Metro North pulls into Grand Central.
I bolt out with the herd stampeding for the exits.
I’m humming Luther Van Dross’ Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.  We’re on the move…we’re in the groove. Don’t you let nothing, nothing stand in your way… [Read more…]

It’s that time again

Rockefeller-Center-ice-skating

Olympic gold medal ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis skated at the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York on Tuesday, marking the official opening of the rink to the public for the winter season.   (Photo by Carol Allegri / Reuters)


Source: wsj.com

Driving the East River Drive. Every risk, shimmering.

new-york-city-autum-fall

It was Tuesday. Yes, Autumn. Yes, New York City. But it certainly didn’t look or feel anything like this. Add 5,000 cars.  And move the map to the FDR, the East River Drive.

I’m one hour and 20 minutes on the road and Waze is signaling that I’m still 30 minutes away. 1:50 for a 0:45 min ride. And now, the crush of the morning rush.  My lower back is stiff.  There’s a nagging kink in my neck. And, I can’t settle. I shift left, then right. I grab my water bottle, take a pull. Tap my fingers on the console.  I glance at my watch. I’m going to be late. Didn’t count on this delay. I push the pace. DK won’t be late.

If you’ve never driven the East Side Highway, think Daytona 500 with a crudely straightened 3-lane track.  Three lanes made for 2.5.  Traffic, sardines, tightly packed. There’s zero room for a slip, no room for wandering. Hugging your left shoulder is a 4-foot cement girder offering a bumper car cushion. Drains (sink holes) are distributed every 1000 feet to release rain water.  Off your right shoulder, another car – open your window and finger brush the door panel.  You grip the wheel, white knuckles, and Glare, eyes panning up front, left, right and down (especially down to avoid the abyss) and then back again. The Gotham Death March.  I push the pace with the cabbies, we dart in and out, looking to gain one car length, maybe two.

SiriusXM is spinning 70s on 7. [Read more…]

Driving Uptown. With MAN from X.

cabs-nyc-times-square

DK:  Broadway and 49th please.
CD:  Times Square?
DK:  Yes. Please.

DK:  Your cab is so clean.
CD:  Thank you Sir.
DK:  How long have you been driving?
CD:  Nine months.

DK:  Where are you from?
CD:  X (A Caribbean Country)

DK:  Do you have family back at X?
CD:  Yes Sir.  My wife and 2-year old daughter.
CD:  I’m saving money to bring them over.
CD:  I do miss them. I’m hoping to see them at Christmas.

DK:  How many hours a day do you drive?
CD:  I start at 7:30 am and drive until 8 or 9pm.
DK:  Weekends?
CD:  I try to not to work on Sundays.

CD:  And then I study.
DK:  Study?
CD:  I want to become a Cop.
DK:  Cop?
CD:  Yes.
DK:  May I ask why?
CD:  Police, politicians – are thieves in X.
CD:  I would be proud to serve this city.
CD:  I think I would be a good cop. [Read more…]

Catching Metro-North.

new-york-city-afternoon-manhattan

6:13 pm.
Madison Square Garden to Grand Central.
10 blocks North — 3 blocks East.
22 minutes to the 6:35 pm New Haven Line.
Rush hour. On foot.

Doable? Let’s go.

Tourists.
Suits.
Students.
Lovers.
Jaywalk.
Contractors.
Homeless.
Tourists.
Street Vendors.
Food cart. Pita. Gyros.
Cabs.
Pedicabs.
Bus tour hawkers.
Shysters.
Shopkeepers.
Jaywalk.
Three abreast.
Tourists.
Lollygaggers.
Messengers.
Bikers.
Tourists.
Black Cars.
Red lights.
Bumbin’Jostlin’ (Sorry!)
Jaywalk.
Walk signs.
Don’t walk.
Jaywalk.
Sidewalk.
Soft spring breeze.
Pungent marinating garbage.
Zig. Zag.
Smokers.
Tourists.
City Buses.
Car horns.

[Read more…]

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