Clinton & President

June 30th, 2010 § 0 comments

Adam Gopnik says:

In New York, the space between what you want and what you’ve got creates a civic itchiness: I don’t know a content New Yorker.

Moving is difficult. It’s not so much the physical act of lugging your things from one place to another, albeit an exhausting experience beginning with packing the first box to unpacking the last, but the psychological aspect of being in transition that makes it so traumatizing. All semblance of a routine full of familiarity and comfort disappears as objects are moved, and rather than facing the fear we might feel at not knowing if a new home will become a home, even though they always do, it’s easier to cling to our belongings. I watched my Grandpa horde objects throughout my lifetime, loving his clutter so much that I associated his belongings with his person, and moving his furniture felt just like moving the displaced man himself. While watching his things disappear from a house I loved was like witnessing a small kind of death, seeing familiar, though just as displaced trinkets in my parents various apartments over the years act as a reassurance that they are still themselves. I think about the infamous wagon-wheel-coffee-table scene from When Harry Met Sally when I trash objects I myself fought so hard to keep in my possession. The things that surround us have a meaning we don’t really intend for them to have, and seem to be the most convenient tokens of displaced emotions. Moving this past weekend I realized, only when I was returning the van and all was safely moved, including my most precious yowling Boo, that everything was alright. It’s seeing our lives packed and placed in a homeless state that is so unsettling.

Carroll Gardens

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Assorted Thoughts About A Trip West

May 20th, 2010 § 1 comment

Sierra Madre

It was a busy weekend in California, spent driving back and forth between Pasadena and Palm Springs. Five days should be enough time to see everyone and do everything planned, but the visit felt rushed and incomplete as visits always do. It’s hard to land in a place and pick up where you left off, so much has changed and happened since I was last there. It’s the seemingly small task of “catching up” that takes too much time and is so important, and the bigger tasks of seeing and doing that get put off. Arriving, a childhood friend retrieved me at LAX. Last time I saw her I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, this time she brought her two-year-old and the baby girl on the way. As much as I wish I lived near my oldest and best friends, I can’t imagine going home and having them be elsewhere. It is odd enough that my brother is no longer there. I think of certain people as belonging to certain places as strongly as I know those places themselves. It always surprises me that while I have lived most of my adult life away from the people I know best, they still understand me the most. Sharing a past seems to a lay the groundwork of trust that carries us through the unexpected twists and turns of our more adult lives.

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The Rorschach Island

October 12th, 2009 § 2 comments

“The island is one-fifth the size of Central Park, and more than twenty times the size of Bryant Park. It is less than half a mile from Manhattan, and even closer to Brooklyn.”


Governors Island was touted this spring in everything from the nytimes to the new york magazine as the cities newest summer destination—the great “undiscovered” location for all summer activities. After spending a recent Saturday wandering the perimeter and interior of the island, I discovered that it feels much more like a historical ghost town than the most popular location citywide to spend a sunny weekend. The islands history makes it sound like one of those hand-me-downs no one wants to wear and keeps passing onto younger siblings and cousins. This summer the island was finally passed down to the public. Governors Island—where no governor has ever lived—is an extremely odd mix of bits and pieces left behind from the numerous different hands of ownership it has passed through since it was first inhabited in 1613, and while it does not function yet as the urban park it is trying to become, it is aesthetically fascinating because of its oddities.

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Endless Summer

August 31st, 2009 § 0 comments


I have a sneaking suspicion that the arrival of Labor Day, lovely as the long weekend promises to be, officially marks the end of summer. Offices such as mine end their summer hours and the magic of half-day Fridays revert back to those painful hours stretching themselves out before the weekend officially starts. Retailers have begun selling fall coats and winter skirts, and even though the weather should hold out for another month, people are making plans for that last summer trip before considering early holiday preparations. This summer was slow in coming, perhaps the east coast rain disguised it, but I have a feeling I was simply too preoccupied to realize it was here. Without the schedule of school semesters summer is now denoted by weather rather than time to spare. Still, it was perhaps the busiest summer of all.

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