Monday, December 31, 2007
Well, I wish I had something pithy to say about the end of the year. But honestly, this is just another day, you know? An arbitrary line we’ve drawn on the calendar. First it’s Monday, then it’s Tuesday. And oh yeah, it’s 2008.
I did come up with some resolutions. They’re actually things I already try to do, so they won’t be all that surprising.
1. Use computer/web productively
2. Gym 3x week
3. Meditate daily, Zendo weekly
4. Be more social (go on a date!)
5. No red meat - chicken/fish once a day at most
6. Be nicer to myself when I fail
Those seem like good goals, right? And of course I won’t achieve them all perfectly, let’s acknowledge that right at the outset.
I had a terrific weekend, particularly yesterday. I cleaned my house in the morning and then walked for several hours in the afternoon. I took about 80 photos. I just can’t get enough of wandering this city!
(Photo: Lower East Side, Dec. 2007)
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I actually wrote a post yesterday. It was somewhat political, a brief screed against the current anti-immigrant climate in this country, and a suggestion that we need to be more generous in our support of others in the world. But you don’t see it here because it felt half-baked to me. I took it down after about ten minutes.
It was the imprecision that bothered me, a sense that I was inviting controversy yet not quite saying what I wanted to say. Then, later in the day, as if by magic, I stumbled across this passage in Gary Thorpe’s book “Caught in Fading Light: Mountain Lions, Zen Masters, and Wild Nature”:
Many Zen teachers have cautioned their students against any dependence on words, either written or spoken. They have likened words to thorns and briars, and compared having an idle conversation to taking a walk through wild thistles and entangling vines. At the very least, we are told, we should give careful attention to what we say. This should be true at all times, but particularly so when we purport to speak the dharma, the real truth of things. When we speak to others with the intention of relaying or explaining Buddhist truths, we soon learn just how may traps and snares there are, and we learn the clever ways in which they can lie in wait, ready to spring upon us at the first sign of unsteadiness or hesitation. That we can be ambushed by our own words is one of the great lessons of Buddhism, and it is a lesson we learn constantly.
(Photo: Shadows on an old synagogue, Lower East Side, Dec. 2007)
Friday, December 28, 2007
This week between Christmas and New Year’s is so odd. If you’re spending the week at work, as I am, it’s even a bit melancholy. The halls are empty, the phone seldom rings, the work days are slow, the salad bar at the company cafeteria is shuttered. There's been the big build-up to the holidays and now, BAM -- nothing.
Perhaps it also feels a bit melancholy to me because I have no plans for New Year’s Eve. I could crash a party somewhere, but I don’t have any desire to get toasted -- those days are mostly over for me, happily.
I haven’t even made any resolutions, which I normally like to do. People make fun of resolutions because they often fall by the wayside, but I think they’re a useful reminder of our goals and values. I try to use them as guidelines rather than strict rules, and to be gentle with myself when I backslide. I usually resolve to sit more, to be nicer to people, to slow down, to be more attentive.
Maybe this year I’ll resolve to get a boyfriend! (It's that easy, right?)
(Photo: SoHo graffiti, Dec. 2007)
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Back home again, with a heap of laundry, and an attention-starved cat once again lying on my chest. I had a great visit with the family, especially my amazing little niece Jane (aka Little Jane, Janie or Beans), who’s 16 months old. She toddles around and says words, and you can just watch her figuring things out.
She’ll say “ribit” if you ask her what sound a frog makes, and she points at both the dog and the door and loudly proclaims “daw!” She smiles constantly, except when she just wakes up, when there seems to be a mandatory period of crankiness.
She didn’t quite know what to make of Christmas. But what kid doesn’t like all the colored lights?
Christmas went well, despite all my gift angst. I got some very practical stuff, like towels and a supply of Starbucks coffee, and some chocolate for fun. I think I’m going to leave the chocolate in the fridge for a while, though. It’s possible to just eat too much sugar, especially when you’re not really much of a dessert-eater - and after several days of pie and chocolate chip cookies and other stuff, I need to come down from my sugar high!
(Photo: Street art in SoHo, Dec. 2007)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Well, here I am in Florida, spending Christmas with the family. So far, my trip has been an exercise in practicing patience.
I flew down last night, and my plane's departure was greatly delayed at LaGuardia. We were about two hours late by the time it took off. I didn't really mind, though - I had several magazines to keep me busy and I was kind of amused just hanging out in the terminal. (I think some of Sharon Salzberg's mindful energy was still lingering around me!)
Today I'm sitting at my Mom's computer to write this post. Mom has not yet entered the 21st century and still has a dial-up Internet connection. I can't tell you how painfully slow it is to do ANYTHING. Patience, once again.
I can't seem to access my e-mail at all. But maybe that's a good thing. I'm on a holiday break, after all!
So I probably won't post much for the next few days. Have a great Christmas, all who celebrate it, and I'll post again when I'm back in the Big Furious Apple!
(Photo: Newspaper box in Boca Grande, Fla., March 2007)
Friday, December 21, 2007
Last night I went to see Sharon Salzberg speak at the Zendo. She’s a well-known longtime Buddhist practitioner who’s written many books, and she’s an eloquent, composed speaker - it was so interesting to hear her put thoughts together and concisely summarize questions from the audience.
She spoke about equanimity, or balance, and one of the things she said that stuck with me is, “The ability to start again is not to be sneezed at.” Each time we stray in life or practice, whether it’s getting lost in thoughts while meditating or something larger, we can always start again. We find our breath again. In fact, as Salzberg said, starting anew is the only honest response to the ever-changing world.
My practice seems to resemble the orbit of Pluto. You know how Pluto follows an elliptical orbit around the sun, passing relatively close and then spinning out into the deep reaches of space before circling back? Sometimes I feel close to my practice, seem to inhabit it deeply for weeks at a time. And sometimes it feels almost alien to me - I stop sitting and get busy and caught up in life - and then I miss it and begin circling back.
Since the end of October, just before I went to Italy, my practice has seemed remote. I’ve been to the Zendo several times since then, but it’s been hard for me to really inhabit the sitting, to be really present. Traveling, the holidays, some major changes in my office, a busier social schedule - all have given me reason to feel scattered, and have carried me away.
I’m not going to the year-end sesshin, either. Frankly, I’m tired, and it just seems too far away, too difficult and too expensive. Maybe I’m wimping out, but I plan to chill and retreat into my own personal quiet for a while. I hope to do that after Christmas - sit daily, here at home, and once again come back toward the warmth of the sun from starry black space.
(Photo: Lost mitten, SoHo, Dec. 2007)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Went to another concert last night with my friend Brian: The Teddy Thompson and Friends Christmas show, a benefit for Darfur.
You may remember I went to see Teddy with Brian a couple of months ago. Then the two of us went to see Suzanne Vega, and then Aimee Mann. Well, last night’s concert turned out to be a neat summary of those three earlier ones.
Not only did we see Teddy play, but Suzanne Vega showed up too! You could have knocked me over with a feather. She sang “Frank and Ava” and “Rosemary,” as well as a silky rendition of “Winter Wonderland.”
We also saw Ben Lee again, a promising singer who performed in Aimee’s show. (He even made the same jokes!)
But the undisputed star of the night - other than Teddy himself - was Rufus Wainwright. I’ve never entirely understood his appeal, other than his refreshing candor about being gay and embracing gay culture. But I’d also never seen him live - and let me tell you, he has quite a stage presence. He sang a French version of “O Holy Night” that really soared.
And now, my concert-going is done, at least for the next few weeks.
(Photo: Wall in the East Village, Dec. 2007)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, in an effort to buy at least a few modest gifts, I went uptown to the Jacques Torres chocolate store. I thought his chocolate would make a nice New York-y gift for my relatives, something they couldn’t get at home. So I bought several mixed boxes and a few odds and ends, and walked out with $87 worth of chocolate in a chic clear bag.
We can debate the morality of paying $87 for chocolate -- I’m not so sure about it myself. But I rationalized it by saying it’s pretty much the centerpiece of my holiday gift-giving this year.
I hauled it back to my office, and then later that evening, I grabbed it and raced off to a meeting of the board of directors for my building. I popped into Starbucks to get some sustenance before the meeting, then went to the office of one of the board members. We met for a couple of hours and then I went home, and realized: I no longer had my bag of chocolate.
Did I leave it at the board member’s office? Or, God forbid, at Starbucks?
As I lay in bed thinking about this, I had my first holiday meltdown. “I hate Christmas!” I muttered. Here I was, compelled by our cultural insanity to go buy junk that no one needs, and then so caught up in the rat race that I lost what I purchased!
I began making vows not just to keep gift-buying simple, but to opt out of it altogether. What would happen if I asked people next year, a few months before the holidays, to skip the gifts entirely?
It’s an interesting idea, I have to admit. But the problem is, gift-giving CAN be fun and fulfilling. The cultural imperative is what’s odious -- the feeling that you HAVE to give a gift, or risk disappointing someone or being branded a cheap selfish bastard.
Fortunately, the next morning, I learned from the other board member that my chocolates were safely in his office, and I picked them up yesterday afternoon. So at least that minor Christmas crisis was averted.
(Photo: Side of a panel truck, East Village, Dec. 2007)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I picked up a book of New York photography the other day from a guy selling books on the sidewalk. I got it for five bucks. This guy was not an established book vendor --it looked to me like he found a box of books someone was throwing out and decided to sell them. Ah, enterprise! Ah, New York!
So, anyway, I lugged this thick book home and discovered happily that it included a long foreword by Tama Janowitz, whose short story collection “Slaves of New York” helped define the city in the go-go ‘80s.
Janowitz started off writing about change, and quoted this excerpt from Harper’s Magazine:
New York is notoriously the largest and least-loved of any of our great cities. Why should it be loved as a city? It is never the same city for a dozen years altogether. A man born in New York forty years ago finds nothing, absolutely nothing, of the New York he knew. If he chances to stumble upon a few old houses not yet leveled, he is fortunate. But the landmarks, the objects which marked the city to him, as a city, are gone.
The kicker is that this passage was written in 1856!
New Yorkers have made a career out of lamenting change, especially lately, as real estate skyrockets, the city gentrifies and rent hikes drive out small businesses. There’s a blog called Vanishing New York that tracks the disappearance of the city’s streetscapes -- and simultaneously, some allege, its character. I lament change myself, having recently scanned photos of some of my favorite disappeared landmarks.
It is true that prosperity brings a certain blandness to New York’s streets. The mom-and-pop stores and restaurants are undoubtedly threatened here, and I dislike the glass-and-steel storefronts and condo towers too. But it’s also true that we’ve preserved much of our history, compared to many other cities, where it’s been long bulldozed.
No matter how uncomfortable, change is a fact of life -- one of the few ultimately dependable facts. And as Tama Janowitz wrote, “Yes, everything changes here, and rapidly too. That’s how it’s always been. And that’s why we like it.”
(Photo: The Skyline Diner, Upper East Side, 2005. Now gone.)
Monday, December 17, 2007
Nostalgia is so strange. What purpose does it serve? Why would we be inclined to see the past through a rose-colored lens, rather than the way it really was? Would the cumulative weight of years of reality be too stressful for our minds?
I got to thinking about this after reading one of my old journals yesterday. While cleaning a closet I took them down and I read through one of them, from 1995. At that point I was living in Venice, Fla., and reporting for a newspaper there.
When I look back on Venice, I think of a quiet town by the Gulf of Mexico, with blooming yellow tabebuia trees and red kapoks. I could ride my bicycle to the beach, or sit on my balcony at night and hear killdeer in the field across the street. I remember hanging out with coworkers and going to parties and rollerblading in the early morning on the smooth streets, past quaint ‘50s ranch houses. I enjoyed living in Venice, or so I thought.
But my journal revealed that actually, I resisted Venice much of the time. I yearned to be in a bigger city with more culture and activity, with more young people and certainly more gay people. I was constantly lamenting my job and plotting my escape. And although I had good times too, I was enmeshed in all sorts of friendship and relationship drama.
Now, it's the nature of a journal to be the recipient of complaints we can't vent in our daily lives. So while I think my memories of Venice ARE nostalgic, it's also true that my journal probably doesn't represent an accurate reality, either. It's probably skewed a bit to the negative.
Still, it's funny how the years have turned Venice into a happy Florida paradise in my mind. Where does this come from? Why do we think things used to be better than they were?
(Photo: Maple shadows on the Upper East Side, October 2007)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Have you ever been to a rock concert with an eight-month-old baby?
As of this weekend, I have.
My friend Tricia is visiting New York with her 13-year-old cousin Sam and her daughter Kate, born in April. We made plans to get together last night and Tricia, doing some research, found out the band Betty was playing at the Highline Ballroom. She wanted to go, and I offered to babysit - but she said no, the baby could come too.
I was highly skeptical of this plan, but I figured we could always leave if things got ugly. Besides, the baby had some concert experience - earlier on Saturday, Tricia had taken her to the annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, and apparently that went well. I thought all the noise of a rock concert might be a little too intense, though.
Happily, I was wrong. For one thing, the Highline is really more of a supper club, with tables and lots of space. We sat in a remote region of the balcony where Tricia could stand up to rock the kid if need be, but even that proved mostly unnecessary. Kate was fine with the show. In fact, she loved the lights and strobes, and waved her arms when the band played, smiling widely. I was amazed.
That was actually my second concert of the weekend. On Friday, Brian and I went to see Aimee Mann and her traveling Christmas variety show, featuring Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, Ben Lee and others. We had a ball, though Aimee had a cold. (Hmmmm...Suzanne Vega had a cold, too, come to think of it.)
I love all the activity at this time of year. Lots of shows, visiting friends, etc. I still haven’t done much holiday preparation, though. I hung my strand of colored lights from the burglar grate on my window -- my only concession to holiday decorating.
(Photo: Phone booth on Third Avenue, Dec. 2007)
Friday, December 14, 2007
There’s a famous Far Side cartoon where a boy puts his hand up in class and says, “May I be excused? My brain is full.” Well, that’s exactly how I felt yesterday, after a day of back-to-back discussions on building Web communities, local news, blogging, mapping, etc. It was interesting stuff, but My God, I needed some air.
One aspect of our online lives I haven’t yet completely figured out is social networking. I am on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I’m not entirely comfortable with them. I think LinkedIn would be valuable if I were looking for a job. Facebook seems much more about fun -- so much so that I’m wary of it as a huge potential time-waster!
In fact, my approach to social networking is sort of like my approach to Photoshop. Underlying my trepidation is a feeling that I can’t really trust myself. Just like I think I may go nuts altering my pictures beyond recognition, I think I may also get sucked into the vortex of Facebook. I don’t trust my own self control. Which is interesting.
Lately, my technique for balancing how much time I spend online is to turn off my computer, rather than just putting it to sleep. If I turn it off entirely, I am less likely to crank it up again. My goal is to spend time online in the morning, and of course I’m online all day at work -- and then get out and have an actual life in the evening. So far, so good!
(Photo: Tompkins Square Park, East Village, Dec. 2007)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Today I'll be at an all-day conference about Web communication. It began yesterday, and it's pretty interesting. Everyone in media is trying to figure out how to bring readers to our Web sites and hold them there, by providing compelling content and interactive opportunities. That's why you see more and more newspapers producing videos and allowing comments on news stories, for example, or setting up reader forums and even video and photo uploading. It's all about creating "communities" of readers.
As I heard more about these topics yesterday, I thought about Blogger and Flickr, two really obvious examples of community building on the Internet. I have friends in both places, and I've met many of them in real life after we "met" on the Web. On Flickr, much of my "community" is based on a common interest (street art and graffiti). Here on Blogger it's much more fluid - there are common interests, but blogging has more to do with like personalities, I think.
Anyway, just to show you that we're talking about Very Serious Subjects, we mentioned this as an excellent example of the "viral" power of video on the Internet. It's had millions and millions of hits. Go figure!
(Photo: Wall in the west 30s, Hell's Kitchen, Dec. 2007)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Some of you may remember this entry, when I made my first attempt at a video.
Well, I thought you might like to see what that building has become. I expected it to be a condo, like every other construction project on the Lower East Side. But no! Surprise! It's a museum - the New Museum of Contemporary Art. I haven't been there yet, but in retrospect it seems an especially fitting subject for my fledgling video art! (Such as it is.) I'm just glad it's not another condo full of hedge fund managers.
Speaking of hedge funds, I read the other day about funds that buy the debt of third-world countries for pennies on the dollar, then force those countries to repay the debt for the profit of investors - who are basically making bucks on the backs of the world's poorest people. There's a special place in hell, you know?
(Photo: New Museum at 235 Bowery, Dec. 2007)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I hold this day
Like a globe of cold
Steel, a silver
Weak sun washes me.
Uncluttered by summer’s
Through this neat sleep
In perpetual panic,
But they seem few.
Quiet peers back
Past the church spire
Like a placid face.
Hope, in bronze,
Has her back to me
Ankle pertly cocked
Busy with another
Granting gorgeous, lavish wishes
Vacations, love affairs.
Her hands reach up
Proffer gifts aloft,
A raft of distractions.
I turn away.
Already, the day
Is heavy and perfect,
A globe of cold
Steel, a round rock.
(Photos: Top, Tompkins Square Park, East Village, Dec. 2007; Bottom, the park's Temperance Fountain, 1888, by Henry D. Cogswell.)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Last night I watched “Jeremiah Johnson,” Robert Redford’s 1972 movie about a taciturn mountain man in Colorado in the late 1800s.
When I was six, my family went to a drive-in theater in Tampa to see this movie. I remember it being incredibly long and boring. We had trouble with the speaker, so we couldn’t really hear. I can’t remember whether my little brother was with us or not - he would have been two - but I think one or both of us cried. After a while, we gave up and went home. We never saw the ending.
Since then, this movie has been family code for the epitome of a boring film. We might see something unpleasant, but we would always say , “Well, at least it wasn’t ‘Jeremiah Johnson.’”
Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be, actually, a pretty good movie. And a beautiful one, too, with wide shots of the mountains and forests of Utah, where it was made.
Here’s what I don’t get, though: It’s pretty violent. I still vividly remembered the scene where Johnson comes home to find his Indian wife and adopted son murdered, and burns down his own house. Johnson kills countless Indians, and comes across a family of settlers who’d all been scalped.
Why on earth did my parents take me to see THAT? What were they thinking?
(Photo: Leaf, Washington D.C., Nov. 2007)
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I spent part of yesterday playing around with Photoshop. Up until now, I have not Photoshopped (is that a verb?) my pictures. But while scanning my old, discolored prints, I found an amazing function called "Auto Color." By clicking on this item in a drop-down menu, I could quickly correct much of the age-related discoloration in a photo. It was amazing to see - BOOM - from orangey brown to bright blue. Like magic!
So I began experimenting on some of my recent stuff. I adjusted about ten shots, and I found that especially those that were mostly white came out really well. White walls tend to look very dark and muddy if left unaltered. Auto Color makes them pop out white again.
This doesn't always work, though. Sometimes the picture comes out looking too stark, in which case I reverted back to the original. It's strange how this mysterious Photoshop animal works.
Anyway, for now, I intend to leave nearly everything unaltered. I can see the slippery slope of Photoshop - it's like a looming addiction. I would start just tweaking one photo here or there, and pretty soon I'd be tweaking everything, and probably more than I should. I would need Photoshop 12-step!
(Photo (unaltered): Shadow of a potted plant, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2007.)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I love digital music. Some people lament the loss of vinyl albums, but not me. Albums were such a pain - they skipped, they scratched, they crackled and popped. Give me a CD any day.
Or an MP3 - even better! Since I bought my Apple and got iTunes I’ve been very into compiling my own CDs. I download my favorite songs from CDs in my collection and put them into mixes. This eliminates the dreaded phenomenon of the Terrible Song in the middle of a Great Album.
For example: I really like Jim Croce. And who doesn’t? “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator,” etc. - he wrote some great ‘70s hits. But then, in the middle of all this nice mellow songwriting, comes “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” - possibly the WORST song ever recorded - and “Rapid Roy the Stock Car Boy,” the second worst. Well, I compiled my own Jim Croce CD, and voila! No more Leroy, no more Stock Car Boy.
I did the same thing with Astrud Gilberto. She had a terrific album in the late ‘60s called “Beach Samba,” in which she built on all her earlier work with Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Astrud is the female singer on the iconic “The Girl from Ipanema.”) But right in the middle of “Beach Samba” is a cursedly bad song called “A Banda (Parade),” recorded with an honest-to-god MARCHING BAND. It’s enough to split your head open. So now I have my own Parade-free version of Beach Samba.
Now, some albums you just can’t do this with. They’re too cohesive and their spirit as a whole must be considered. It would be impossible to cherry-pick songs from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” for example, or Joni Mitchell's "Blue," or even k.d. lang’s “Hymns of the 49th Parallel.”
But aside from those, it’s nice to be able to condense my music collection to what I want to hear. It’s all about flexibility!
On a completely different note, I uploaded some old family photos (just a few) to Flickr. You can see them here.
(Photo: Ginkgo leaves in Washington, D.C., Nov. 2007)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
A few days ago, I thought it might be fun to scan some really old photos and put them up on Flickr. So I got down the old albums and began choosing a few favorites.
But then I realized how much junk I had from childhood - random pictures of bushes and blurry mountains, for example, many taken from the window of a speeding car. (When we took road trips, my parents never liked to stop!)
I also realized the sticky photo albums that held this stuff were falling apart, and many of the photos themselves had deteriorated so badly that you could barely see them. So last night, I got a new album and began culling a lot of those old photos. What a task! I was up until almost midnight. But of course I also had a ball, because interspersed with all the junk were quite a few gems.
I also had a strange movie experience last night. I began watching David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” and had a sneaking suspicion I’d seen it before. But I was never sure until about an hour and 45 minutes into the film, when a particularly remarkable death scene reminded me that I’d definitely seen it. Now THAT’s a memorable movie.
(Photo: Graffiti in Venice, Italy, Nov. 2007)
Monday, December 3, 2007
Now, I knew it was going to snow Saturday night. But I did not expect THIS.
I thought we’d get some little flurries or a light dusting. Imagine my surprise when I went downstairs Sunday morning and found the streets white and empty, and the snow still coming down?
In fact, it continued to come down for hours. I went to the Zendo, where I finally had a chance to sit for the first time in weeks, and I was aware of the drifting whiteness the entire time.
I was so happy to be back at the Zendo and practicing, enjoying the quiet spaciousness, the in-and-out of my breath, the ordinary yet extraordinary beauty of a wintry morning.
Afterwards, I walked home through the East Village, and found more fun, snowy photo opportunities.
(Photos: Top two photos, snow on the street in front of my apartment building; Below, red berries on Avenue A; pigeons love snow; a four-wheeled leaf magnet; a passerby leaves a message.)
Sunday, December 2, 2007
This has been quite a social weekend so far!
On Friday evening after work I met up with fellow blogger Gary, who is just as positive and enthusiastic as you’d expect from reading his blog. He was out with some friends to celebrate an engagement, and the whole group embraced me - literally and figuratively - and made me feel very welcome and comfortable. It wasn’t at all like hanging out with journalists, who often tend toward grumpy cynicism.
Then I raced off for a dinner with my friend Jan and her friends Helen and Cara at a place called BLT Steak. (I was kind of put off by the name, but Jan assured me they had some non-red-meat options on their menu, and she was right). We got a dose of excitement when we realized that both Alex Rodriguez (”A-Rod”) of the Yankees and Doug Flutie were sitting at nearby tables. I wouldn’t have recognized either one of them, mind you, but Jan is a huge sports fan - she even said hi to Alex as he passed us on the way to the bathroom, and he said hi back, to his credit. He seemed very tall, but then, I was sitting down.
Yesterday I spent running errands, cleaning, going to the gym and catching up on reading. I met my friend Bill in the evening and we went to see “August: Osage County,” a Broadway play by Tracy Letts. It was EXCELLENT - funny and cringe-inducing and tragic. Go see it!
(Photo: Pigeons in Chelsea, October 2007)
Saturday, December 1, 2007
When I was in Washington D.C. last weekend, the leaves were really beautiful. This Japanese maple was just down the street from my friend Kevin's house. I don't think I've ever seen such an intensely red tree!
These two trees, as well as the ginkgo below, I photographed during my walk with Reya. Ginkgos always turn such an amazing shade of yellow.
Now, here in New York, we're expecting light snow this weekend. Winter is just around the corner!