Saturday, May 31, 2008


Have I mentioned that I’m reading “Jane Eyre”? Somehow, in high school and college, I was never required to read it, so I’m remedying that now. I’m surprised by how good, and accessible, it is. I was prepared for a real slog. I’m about halfway through, and I love the windswept, candle-lit atmosphere that pervades the book.

My biggest challenge is just making the time to sit down and read. A little more than a week went by when I was so busy I didn’t read a word. But now I’m back in the saddle and making progress.

A couple of years ago I read “Wuthering Heights,” so soon I can say I’ve dispatched with the major works of the Brontes. For what that’s worth.

(Photo: Chelsea, May 2008)

Friday, May 30, 2008


Bob and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie last night. It was a thoroughly ridiculous, over-the-top, implausible film -- people going over huge waterfalls in boats, being shot at with machine guns, crashing in cars, and yet always managing to walk away without so much as a scratch. But it was also tons of fun, and in the end, we both agreed we liked it. Funny how a movie doesn’t have to be believable to work.

If you have plenty of spare time, you should read Emily Gould’s piece in The New York Times Magazine about living life on the Internet as a blogger. I haven’t read Emily’s blogs, and judging from the article, she probably runs on a bit too much. But I think she’s a good writer, and being a blogger myself I could identify with some of the issues she raises.

And then there’s this hilarious look at Facebook etiquette in real life.

(Photo: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, May 2008)

Thursday, May 29, 2008


A couple of months ago, I canceled my newspaper. This may seem ironic, considering I work there, but I thought I’d embrace the changes sweeping the industry and try to move my news consumption online. I figured it would reduce paper waste and help me better understand online journalism, which is increasingly the focus of my own job.

But what I’ve discovered is this: Now, I’m just a lot less likely to read the paper.

At work, I’m on the computer all the time. In fact, I have two computers, and I’m constantly on both of them. So by the time I get home, I don’t want to be online anymore and I make a concerted effort not to be.

In the morning, I upload my Flickr photos and I post to my blog. Then it’s time to either get to the gym -- where I read a magazine -- or get ready for work. Not much time for online newspaper reading there, either.

That leaves work, and that’s where I consume much of my national and world news -- often from the home page of The New York Times. But because I’m working, I can’t read at a leisurely pace, and I frequently don’t get much beyond the first paragraphs of the biggest news stories of the day. (Of course, news is my business, so I read a lot of it during the day, but often it's local content about communities where my company owns papers.)

When I got the actual paper, I’d often read it in the evening, or take it with me and read it on the subway or at a diner. Now I don’t have that option.

What I’m missing is the slow browsing experience, of turning pages and stumbling onto stories that I otherwise might not see. Online, I almost never get to the “interior” parts of the paper -- Real Estate, Styles, House & Home, Week in Review, the City section. Most of all, I miss the experience of being mercifully unplugged from the Internet, yet still connected to the world.

I think I’m going to restart my paper.

(Photo: East Village, May 2008)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I'm lying in bed with the birds chirping and fluttering outside in the horse chestnut, and on the fire escape. The breeze is blowing comfortably. The city is quiet in the early morning. The cat is purring. All's right with the world.

(Photo: E. 29th Street, May 2008)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

I had a really interesting Memorial Day! Bob and I went out to Long Island, to his step-mother’s house in St. James. She held a small dinner gathering on Sunday night, and then we went to the local parade on Monday and to a champagne party at the historic nearby home of architect Stanford White.

The parade was like something from Thornton Wilder. St. James isn’t a very big town, so it only lasted a half-hour or so, and mainly consisted of local veterans, various scout troops, a band and all the fire and rescue equipment. Our group knew several of the parade participants, so that made it more fun. Seeing the older vets was especially moving -- and I even waved a flag, which as most of you know is entirely out of character for me! (My patriotism is usually more subtle, and maybe more cynical.)

Bob’s family is friendly with the Whites, who still own Box Hill, Stanford White’s summer estate. We sat on the spacious porch and walked around the immense lawn. It was pretty amazing to be plunked into the middle of such a remarkable piece of historic property, and the Whites themselves were very welcoming. (Bob swore they wouldn't mind if I posted a photo of the house. It's a great structure, with lots of gables and pebbly exterior walls.)

In fact, I appreciated the amazing hospitality I was shown all weekend. We caught the train back to New York yesterday evening, and now it’s back to the old grind!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Yesterday morning I hopped a train to Philadelphia with two of my Flickr friends, Shoehorn99 and LunaPark, to scope out street art in the City of Brotherly Love. We rode down on New Jersey Transit and then on SEPTA (apparently much cheaper than taking Amtrak) and got there a little after 11 a.m., which gave us several hours to explore.

The street art in Philly seems to be much more about stickers, at least in the areas we walked (around the Penn campus, down South Street and through Center City near the Liberty Bell). They’re incredibly ornate, colorful little jewels, often with cartoonish characters. Fun stuff!

We also checked out some amazing mosaics by Isaiah Zagar, who is something of a Philly folk art legend. He covered walls with broken tiles, pieces of mirror, pottery and other stuff, creating vast murals that throw spatters of reflected sunlight on the surrounding walls and pavement. Amazing.

Naturally, we stopped for sandwiches (Luna had a cheese steak, Shoehorn had soy chicken, and I got a rice-and-beans chimichanga). A few hours later we were back on the train for New York; I got home about 10 p.m. Watch for photos on Flickr in a few weeks -- after I work through my existing backlog!

(Photo: Street art by Ticky, Philadelphia, May 2008)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


It’s my blog’s birthday! Exactly two years ago I started “Shadows and Light” with a very inauspicious post.

I was sitting at my desk at work in the middle of the day, having a bored moment. I thought a blog might be a good way to show off some of my photos, having not yet discovered the wondrous Flickr. (Since then, I haven’t written any blog postings from work -- I always do it at home. Take note, boss!)

Blogging has been an interesting journey. Sometimes I’ve loved it, sometimes I’ve hated it. I’ve written some pieces I really liked (here, for example) and used it to show off older writing that never found any audience (here and here). I’ve also had days when I’ve struggled to come up with just a sentence or two.

I almost quit blogging a couple of times, weighed down by a feeling of obligation and the fatigue of ceaselessly gathering ideas. But gradually I'm realizing that I’m not under any obligation at all. And when I don’t feel obligated, not surprisingly, the ideas flow more freely and the whole enterprise becomes a lot more fun.

The blog has certainly evolved, too. Back in the beginning I wrote less. I was concerned about making my life public on the Internet, and besides, who cared anyway? I’ve slowly loosened up and now I say more, though brevity is still a cornerstone of my blogging practice.

And I do think of it as practice. It’s a form of mindfulness, to distill the disjointed chaos of every day into a few coherent lines of text. Another reason to keep it short -- I don’t want to get bogged down in what’s already happened. I just want to show how it brought me to where I am now.

And now, I’m celebrating! Happy birthday, blog!

(Photo: Proteus flower found on the sidewalk on E. 29th Street, May 2008)

Friday, May 23, 2008


My college roommate, who was a psychology major, once told me about a spectrum of conversational interest. At one end are things, which are mildly interesting to talk about. In the middle are people, who are more interesting. And at the other end are ideas, which are the most interesting.

I thought about this yesterday when it occurred to me that my blog had been very “thing-focused” for the last few days!

So let’s move on to people. Today’s photo is very appropriate, because I’ve been getting reminders lately about the impermanence of life. Sad reminders, actually.

Last week, one of my coworkers was diagnosed with breast cancer. It appears to have been caught early, but she’s still understandably shaken. She doesn’t yet know how it will be treated, so there’s a lot of uncertainty in her condition right now.

And then, out of the blue, a woman I used to know in Florida, in a town where I once worked, was killed in a car crash on Wednesday. She was a public official, and an extremely competent one -- capable, fair, smart. I always admired her approach to issues and her leadership ability.

I found this especially upsetting, even though I barely knew her, and certainly not much beyond her public roles. I kept thinking about how she got into her car Wednesday evening with no idea what was about to happen.

One minute you’re here, the next, you’re not. Fragile.

(Photo: Bleecker Street, April 2008)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I got a request for a photo of the shadowbox where my rings reside, so here it is. As you can see, I keep a lot of stuff in there, from seashells to small gifts and souvenirs to items from my childhood. (The box usually has glass on the front, but I removed it for the photo.)

For explanation of each item, click here and then roll your cursor over the photo. (You really have to do this to experience it properly and see more detail!)

As you know, I am not a fan of clutter. This is the one place in my house where I can keep small tchotchkes where they won’t drive me crazy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


When I lived in Morocco 15 years ago, I picked up silver Berber men’s rings at markets and souks whenever I found one I liked. They were inexpensive -- the equivalent of $5 or so -- and all handmade. I had a collection of about ten of them, and I used to wear two favorites pretty much every day.

Back in the states, after a few years, I switched to a silver bracelet (also Moroccan) and put the rings away. I haven’t worn them now for about 8 years. I put four of them in a shadowbox in my hallway with some other small tchotchkes, and sold the rest to a Moroccan crafts store on Ninth Avenue.

Over the weekend, I got out my two old favorites again, and I wore them Monday and yesterday. But it’s funny -- over the years my hands have become used to being ring-free, and they rebelled! Those rings really bothered me. I was aware of them all the time, how they felt, and wanted to take them off at every opportunity. Last night, I put them back in the shadowbox.

I may wear them from time to time, but it’s funny how my body has changed, and my awareness. I’m sure I’d eventually get used to them again, but now I’m even less of a jewelry-wearer than I ever was -- so maybe the shadowbox is where they belong!

(Photo: Jersey Street, SoHo, May 2008)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I really have nothing significant to say today, so please enjoy this quiet moment.

(Photo: Bleecker Street, May 2008)

Monday, May 19, 2008


I survived the AIDS Walk, though it was quite a mob scene. For some reason it seemed more congested this year, but maybe that's just because I was trying to keep my team more or less together and that proved very difficult! Anyway, we did well and we raised at least $13,500. Thanks to those of you who donated! You can see photos here.

After the walk I was pretty exhausted. I went to lunch with my friend Rob in Queens, who I haven't seen in quite a while, and checked out his new apartment. Then I came home and did stuff around the house. I couldn't manage to get to the gym this morning. Enough is enough!

(Photo: E. 29th Street, May 2008)

Sunday, May 18, 2008


We had beautiful weather yesterday. I went walking in the East Village in the morning and had a cup of coffee in Tompkins Square Park, under a sunny clear sky. I watched the locals watch their dogs romping in the dog run -- dogs are so funny, exploding with enthusiasm when, after being cooped up in an apartment, they’re released into the company of other canines. No matter the breed, they go right back to their wild dog roots, racing around and barking and humping and getting into little skirmishes.

I came home and cleaned out my CD collection in the afternoon, burning parts of them onto iTunes and hauling the carcasses to the Housing Works Thrift Store. That condensed my music collection into songs I actually like, rather than songs I have to tolerate to get to the ones I like. Now I have to back everything up, but I have lots of nice blank space along that wall.

Last night I went to a “bachelor party” for two gay friends who plan to get married -- ceremonially, if not legally. (They’re doing it here in New York, where legal is still not an option.) Alas, I had to leave before the stripper got there.

(Photo: Tribeca, April 2008)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Checks and Balances

A pretty quiet couple of days, here. Bob and I went to a play last night, "From Up Here," starring tony winner Julie White, who was terrific along with the rest of the cast. It was a rather dark family drama with comedic moments -- I'm not sure how else to describe it. Very enjoyable.

You probably saw the news about the court ruling in California this week giving gay men and lesbians there the right to marry. I'm puzzled by one of the arguments against the ruling -- that the judges were somehow subverting the will of the people because the decision hadn't been made by popular vote. People who make this argument don't understand our system of government. The judiciary branch's role in providing checks and balances is to ensure that individual civil rights are NOT subject to popular opinion. Not to get all preachy, but in the words of Thomas Jefferson:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In other words, people don't get to vote on them.

(Photo: East Village, April 2008)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Melanie: epilogue

After my Melanie post a few days ago, one of my blogging pals (Merle) mentioned that the song “Alexander Beetle” is actually available on iTunes. I went to iTunes and discovered something interesting: When you do a search for an artist’s name, you don’t necessarily see all their songs listed. You have to look at all their available albums. I did that with Melanie and found TONS more stuff.

Not only is “Alexander Beetle” there, but so is the entire “Garden in the City” album, which I haven’t heard since I ditched my record player almost ten years ago. Woo hoo! So are numerous other albums, from Melanie’s “flower child” years on Buddah (sic) records to her own Neighborhood releases and her more recent recordings.

Isn’t iTunes amazing? I mean, really. Now I have a pretty complete collection of all the Melanie I listened to as a kid and a teenager!

Unrelated: If you have a few minutes to spare and you’re even remotely interested in street art, you have to watch this. Kind of creepy, but really brilliant and amazing. Kudos to my friend Kevin for sending it to me.

(Photo: SoHo, April 2008)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I’ve been recruiting people over the last several weeks to participate in AIDS Walk New York, as I do every year. I’m the captain of my employer’s team, and so far we’ve raised about $9,000! The walk itself is this Sunday, starting in Central Park and looping through the Upper West Side and along Riverside Drive.

This is an especially poignant year for me, because one of my best friends just recently tested positive. I have numerous other positive friends and acquaintances, some of whom I’ve only recently learned have the virus. Medical care for those with HIV is amazing these days, but it’s also alarming how many people continue to contract it. The fact that people in the United States so rarely die from AIDS anymore has given our society such a false sense of security. Holy cow.

It's also amazing how thoroughly HIV has changed all of our lives. I can certainly testify that my own behaviors and fears over the last couple of decades have been deeply affected by it.

Anyway, not to put the squeeze on my readers -- but if anyone feels motivated, my contribution page is here.

(Photo: East Village, April 2008)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My boss gave me an article from Natural Solutions magazine about a Buddhist practice called miksang, which is Tibetan for “good eye.” It’s contemplative photography -- seeing everyday objects in a new way, without extensive preplanning or image manipulation.

Basically, it’s what I and many of my blogging and picture-taking friends have been doing for years -- I just never knew it had a name!

According to the article, miksang “focuses on what our conscious mind tends to glaze over.” You set out with a camera and allow your eye to wander and notice, without the intention of taking a good photo. One instructor calls it the merging of steady mind, soft heart and clear vision.

“When you’re out shooting miksang, you’re on a mini meditation retreat,” another said. “Something catches your eye, and in that moment, the mind stops thinking. Every second your mind isn’t chattering away, it gets a little bit of rest.”

I identified right away with this article. Bravo to author Anne Ford and Natural Solutions! Read more about miksang here.

(Photo: East Village, April 2008)

Monday, May 12, 2008


In the years immediately after my parents’ divorce, my Dad went through a groovy ‘70s bachelor phase. He got an apartment with an orangey shag rug in the sunken living room, a couple of bean bag chairs, and a console TV where he, my brother and I watched “The Rockford Files” on Friday nights. He painted and sculpted and drank awful milkshakes made with wheat germ and bananas. He grew lots of facial hair.

He drove a Volkswagen beetle, like any good late-blooming hippie, and its 8-track tape player was perpetually churning out tunes by Donovan, Billy Preston, Three Dog Night and The Fifth Dimension. But he had one tape I especially loved: “Candles in the Rain,” by Melanie.

I was initially drawn to this album by the song “Alexander Beetle,” Melanie’s musical version of an A.A. Milne rhyme from the book “Now We Are Six.” But I grew to like the other songs, too. And then the 8-track broke, like they always did, and that was that. No more Melanie.

At least, not until ten years later, when I was in high school. Prowling through used record stores and flea markets, I began to find Melanie albums. I hadn’t given her much thought in the intervening years, but I bought a copy of “Candles in the Rain” and took it home, and it blew me away. I bought all the Melanie I could find: “Affectionately,” “Garden in the City,” “Gather Me,” “Stoneground Words,” “Madrugada.” I became a total Melanie-head.

To most of my friends, who were all listening to The Police and Prince, this was another of my strange, inexplicable quirks. (I had a thing for The Fifth Dimension, too. I had all their albums at one point -- and there were a lot!) Only my friend Kevin also saw the light, and became just as big a fan.

Melanie had a soulful voice and played a mean guitar. She was a skilled songwriter, and even played at Woodstock. But she got pigeonholed as a hippie, and when hippies went out of fashion, her career never quite recovered. Unfortunately, many people know her solely for her song “Brand New Key,” which doesn’t do her songwriting justice.

I shouldn’t use the past tense to refer to Melanie -- she’s still out there, performing and writing. In April 1991, when I was working as a reporter in Florida, I actually got to sit down with her for an interview. As you can imagine, it was a huge moment for me. We spent an hour or so revisiting the ‘60s, and discussing her career. Her album “Precious Cargo” was just about to be released, and she said she was content to reach smaller audiences with her more adult music.

Melanie attributed her “flower child” image to marketers at Buddah Records, her ‘60s label.

“What’s a flower child?” she asked me. “I was very into creating things, making them real and not phony, telling people what I was going through and feeling and seeing, mirroring whatever times were going on and what seemed to be happening. Some essence of that must have come out or nobody would have thought of it in the first place, but it certainly was a little bit limiting.”

Kevin and I went to see her perform soon after that interview, and I listened to “Precious Cargo” quite a bit, but I have to admit I always gravitated back to her earlier work. Maybe it’s just what I knew and was comfortable with; maybe it meant more to me, imbued as it was with those memories of rattling down the highway in my father’s Volkswagen, awash in cigarette smoke from his Larks.

Melanie autographed my copies of “Affectionately” and “Garden in the City,” and I still have them, even though I no longer have a record player. (I’ve managed to get several old Melanie albums on CD. My “Candles in the Rain” CD, strangely, doesn’t include “Alexander Beetle.” Did Disney wage a copyright battle?)

Now I hear that Melanie will be performing upstate in August, and I hope to be there.

My Dad still likes Melanie, too. He remarried, but he still drives Volkswagens, still has facial hair, and still smokes -- too much.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(This photo is a less skillful ripoff of / homage to Chedwick, whose recent Melanie post inspired mine.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Yesterday was terrific. I didn’t even leave the house until about 4 p.m. Instead, I worked on all sorts of domestic projects and just relaxed: I cleaned, purged some stuff, organized more photos, sewed a few buttons, read, listened to music and spent time with the cat.

Then, in late afternoon, I finally got motivated and dragged myself out of the house to the gym. I went to Bob’s in the evening and we went for a walk around the reservoir in Central Park -- after our all-day rain on Friday, the weather had finally cleared and the air was cool and soft, the light golden on the walls of buildings on both sides of the park.

We got some take-out Italian and watched “Drugstore Cowboy” at his place.

I can’t tell you how much I needed that leisurely day. Today should be pretty laid-back, too, and this week shouldn’t be too intense, so I hope to finally do some sitting (after two weeks) and spend more time at home, indulging my inner homebody!

(Photo: Street art, East Village, April 2008)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Yin and yang

I took these two shots in Tribeca, on different streets but just minutes apart. It's funny how perfectly balanced they are: white graffiti with black Vespa, black graffiti with white Vespa. Cosmic!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I always associate May 8 with rain. On May 8, 1979, when I was 12 years old, we got an outrageous amount of rain in Tampa. It remains Tampa’s single wettest day, with close to 12 inches of rain. Our yard turned into a lake, and the lake advanced on our house menacingly. Broad, extravagant puddles remained for weeks.

We had a septic tank because we lived in the country, and when it rained like that, we had to stop using water because the septic system couldn’t accommodate it. No clothes washing, no dish washing, no showering. Even flushing the toilet was risky -- but obviously, that’s a risk we had to take. I don’t remember specifically how we managed after May 8, 1979, but I’m sure all these precautions were involved.

Interesting how a single event can define a day forever: Dec. 7, Sept. 11 and, for me, May 8!

(Photo: Tribeca, April 2008)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I was asked by Barbara to list “six unspectacular quirks” about myself. So here goes:

1. When I was a kid, I used to be able to touch my elbows behind my back. Needless to say, not anymore.

2. I really dislike sand and being out in the sun, so I am not a big beach person. (Ironic for a Floridian.) My idea of a good day at the beach is walking on the shore early in the morning, inside by 10 a.m. or buzzing around town for lunch and exploring, and back out on the beach in the early evening. I avoid the beach at 1 p.m. at all costs.

3. As I write my blog entries in the morning, there is almost always a cat lying on my stomach. (The same cat.) That in itself may not be a personal quirk, but I guess it’s a quirk that I can type with a cat between me and the keyboard!

4. I can speak Berber, specifically a dialect called Tashelhait, native to southern Morocco. It is not a useful skill.

5. I always pick up pennies when I find them on the street, and unlike some people, I don’t keep them in a jar at home. I carry all my change every day and spend it regularly to keep the volume down.

6. I dislike clutter and go to great lengths to avoid it. I spend a lot of time throwing things away and organizing. It’s therapeutic for me.

I’m supposed to tag others, now, with this meme. But I normally let people opt in rather than asking them to participate. So if you feel like it, consider yourself tagged, and go for it!

Here are the rules:

1. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
2. Link the person who tagged you.
3. Mention the rules in your Blog.
4. Tag six following Bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged Blogger’s Blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

(Photo: East 29th Street, April 2008)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Bob and I went to see “Iron Man” last night. I must admit it didn’t blow me away, but I think that has more to do with me than the movie. Super-hero movies are just not my thing. I can never suspend reality enough to buy into them, and this one seemed particularly absurd. (The hero builds an entire metal flying suit out of available scrap while a seriously wounded prisoner in a cave in Afghanistan. And that’s just the beginning.)

I guess this is why I was never into comic books.

I’m settling back into my routines pretty well after my DC trip. My boss took me to lunch yesterday as a thanks for my small role in a project that won her a substantial company award -- that was nice. (I really didn’t do much for the project, so lunch was appropriate compensation.)

Oh, and apparently I was bitten by a spider sometime over the weekend. I had a little red welt on my leg Saturday night and didn’t think much of it, having never seen the offending creature -- my friend Liz identified it as a spider bite. By last night it had turned into a bright red itchy blotch, but I’m hoping that actually means it’s getting better. (Itchy seems good, as opposed to painful.)

(Photo: Tribeca, April 2008)

Monday, May 5, 2008


I’m back from my trip to DC, having wallowed in absurd amounts of tree pollen and dodged tent caterpillars falling like fat, leggy raindrops from the tree in my friend Liz’s front yard. Spring may have come to New York, but DC puts New York to shame. Our nation’s capital is overflowing with seasonal fertility, and I don’t mean the government. (I don’t think.)

I went to DC to meet with a group of fellow bloggers. Reya and Barbara brought a group of us together for a barbecue and a celebratory springtime dance around an actual maypole, occasioned by the visit of Lettuce from England. I don’t think I’d ever seen a real maypole before Saturday, but now I can say that I have experienced the weaving, ribbony silliness of a maypole dance.

Before we started, Reya instructed us to grasp our particular ribbon and imagine something that we want for ourselves, and then to grasp the pole and fill it with sexual energy (!). Then we wove around each other until we’d braided all the ribbons in a perfectly imperfect pattern, and tied them off with a bouquet.

That interwoven braid is a perfect metaphor for the entire weekend. Not only did I get to mingle with my fellow bloggers, but I rode in Gary's cute new Volkswagen, spent time with my friend Liz in Greenbelt, and visited with my high school friend Kevin and my Peace Corps friends Doreen and Hakim, and their kids Ramzy and Tarek. Many individual strands came together to weave this weekend’s DC experience.

I also ran five miles this morning, which felt great after a day of barbecue and wine and dessert! And I went to a plant nursery -- an exotic errand for a Manhattanite with a studio apartment -- and helped Liz collect pepper plants and an odd assortment of flowers for her yard. Afterwards, sitting on Liz’s porch, the aforementioned caterpillars creeping around me, I could actually see the pollen swirling down through the sunlight. What a world! What a season!

Friday, May 2, 2008


This week has been madness. Literally every waking moment I’ve been somewhere, doing something. Some of it’s been fun, some of it’s been work -- I had a couple of professional events, a documentary I watched and critiqued for a friend, a Broadway play, a few evenings with Bob. I was at the Zendo almost all day last Sunday, for services and a committee meeting. And now I’m off to D.C. for the weekend!

My cat barely knows who I am at this point.

It’s always challenging when things get this busy, but, well, that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes the river is a slow, placid one, and sometimes you’re whooshing down whitewater rapids.

Last night, I went to see “Cry Baby” on Broadway with my friend Jay. It’s a fun show, with some exceptional song-and-dance numbers. But plotwise, it’s pretty thin -- basically “Grease” all over again. Because I had an earlier work commitment, we had to rush to get to the show in time, and we ate literally on the run. As I elbowed my way through crowds on 44th Street, wolfing down a turkey wrap from D’Agostino’s, I told Jay, “Let it never be said that I am not a classy theater-goer!”

Anyway, I won’t be posting for the next few days. I’ll be back Monday. Have a great weekend!

(Photo: Chelsea, April 2008)

Thursday, May 1, 2008


If you're a Joni Mitchell fan, you probably know her song "For Free," about a street musician and the contrast between the music "he played real good, on his clarinet, for free" and her own music, which people paid to hear.

Like that street singer, there are so many artists in New York who simply give away their work. Here's an example: I found this book tucked into a window grate in Chelsea. The cover is by a couple of artists -- Infinity and Royce Bannon -- from the so-called Endless Love Crew. Inside, it was a published comic book or graphic novel.

I was sorely tempted to take it. But I didn't, in the spirit of making art available "For Free."