April 21, 2013 § 2 Comments
It was a horrible week for Americans, especially Bostonians and Texans and anyone who wishes we weren’t giving out guns like party favors. I can only assume the Republic of Chechnya has had better weeks, too. Though maybe not so many, because it seems Chechens have been subjected to one violation of human rights after another for centuries.
The day before the Boston Marathon bombing I saw something that in the moment I thought was pedestrian. It was only later that I realized how significant it was that it felt so prosaic. All this horrible week I’ve replayed the incident in my mind, and I’ve been glad to have it.
I came around a midtown corner in the morning. It was early. So early I still remembered what I’d dreamt in the night. The nearest building was one of those nondescript newspaper gray apartment towers that looks like a soul-sucking office complex but is actually home to hundreds. One of those hundreds had just come out — an old man with a walker. The doorman stood at the curb holding a broom. The old man and the doorman were sharing a laugh. Just beyond them was the next building, a fire house with a group of firefighters standing in front of it. They were drinking coffee from ceramic mugs and talking quietly.
It was just a moment. The doorman was a color. The old man was another. The firefighters were each their own shade. Every one had his own story. But it didn’t matter how or why they all ended up here in this country in this city on this street on this morning. They just did, and now we’re together.
(Photo of one of my favorite novels via here)
February 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
July 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
A week ago Ryan Gosling ran by me on Washington Street in the West Village. Three days later, I accidentally photo-bombed Carlos Santana, who was taking a picture with a fan on Spring Street. Coming within inches of Gosling was kind of cool. But then again he was running, and I could tell he was pointedly not looking at me as he ran by. Probably because I was clearly female and clearly between the ages of 25 and 35, which has got to be exactly the Gosling obsessive/creepy fan demographic. Santana was notable because he was about half my size and wearing an outfit I’m pretty sure I tried on at Hot Topic fifteen years ago. Also notable because the fan getting her picture taken obviously hated me and my oblivious photo-bombing as much as she loved having Santana’s arm around her.
These sightings got me wondering… If I could see any male celebrities in person, who would I choose? Here’s my list (in alphabetical order):
(Photo via here. I don’t particularly care about ever meeting either Oprah or Rainn Wilson. But I like this photo because Oprah seems way more into meeting Rainn than Rainn is into meeting Oprah.)
July 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
July 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
This evening I biked through the Lower East Side on my way to meet a friend for dinner. I had stopped to put air in my tires and was worried I was going to be late. In my rush, I accidentally kicked one of my flip flops into the middle of Stanton Street. (not the first time I’ve done this, by the way)
I immediately pulled over to retrieve it, but I wasn’t quite quick enough. A tiny girl no more than four years old had already scooped it up and was running toward me. She was laughing and when she reached me she presented my shoe to me and shouted, “I’m shy!” before running back to her mom and younger sister.
I forgot about being punctual and grinned the rest of the way to dinner.
(image via here)
June 29, 2012 § 2 Comments
If you have a vagina and a college diploma, by now you’ve probably read the longest magazine essay ever written about why being an ambitious woman of a certain wealthy demographic is still really wheally hard. Or least, you’ve been told you should read it.
I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this essay at length with some pretty spectacular women: my mom, Ben’s mom, two professors, a former boss/mentor and more than a few of my female friends. Frankly, these discussions have been, by far, the best part of the essay.
Then Nora Ephron died.
And I selfishly wondered how she would have publicly responded to the essay if she hadn’t been so sick. But, as I should have guessed, there was no need to wonder. She had answered. Only 16 years early — in her commencement address at Wellesley in 1996:
“Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”
It’s not a headline-grabbing conclusion. And certainly the lengthy essay The Atlantic chose to publish instead has done far more for the magazine’s publicity and sales. Not to mention what it’s done for its author, Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter. But Nora said it best: simply and wisely. With a side order of humor, of course.
(Image via Fly Crooked)
June 25, 2012 § 2 Comments
Last week I wrote how much I love our tiny apartment. And it’s true. I do. But there is one thing I miss: a backyard. Or even just a porch big enough for a swing bench and some potted plants. I wish the sense of privacy and coziness I feel in our apartment extended outside. Just a bit. A little land and sunshine and even rain I’d never have to share with anyone.
As it is, going outside means facing the world. It means putting on shoes. Remembering my keys. Looking both ways. I just want to walk barefoot from my apartment to the outdoors without breaking the solitude. Without any production or preparation.
Eventually, I’ll have that.
In the meantime, I’ve found a compromise. Or, rather, Ben found me a compromise. He volunteered me to water the flowerbeds outside our building. Not that he told me this. A neighbor mentioned it when I ran into her in our lobby. I believe her exact words were, “Ben says you’d love to water the flowerbeds and are available all summer!”
This is not something I would have volunteered for. I was not sitting around thinking, “If only I had another obligation!” But, now, thanks to Ben, I didn’t feel like I could say no.
So, I started watering the flowerbeds. And Ben was right; I do love it. I love collecting the big green watering can and the faucet key from behind our building. I love the sound of the water as it pours out of the spout. I love when I fill the can a bit too high and cool water splashes over my flip flops and bare toes. I love the smell of wet earth and the way the flower petals and leaves sparkle with water droplets. I love the rhythm — back and forth between the spout and the four flowerbeds, each bed getting three full cans of water.
I also love that every time I water, strangers talk to me. Sometimes they thank me. Sometimes they want to know why I do it. Sometimes they want directions. Sometimes they’re drunk. But, always, I love it. And I wouldn’t get any of that with some fancy private backyard.
(Photo via Garden Tyrant)