Flying high above us, aiming for the pure blue welkin, the Money Man presides over my street. The gentleman who tends to him lives across the street, listening to opera and classic rock in his garage all day long. I never noticed before, but now I see him daily. Our routines collide under strange circumstances.
He sees my admiration for his money man, strung up from the tree– sort of fun, sort of eerie. We chat across the black concrete that fills the earth between sidewalks.
A new friend, closer than before but still at a distance.
I am working as hard as I can to understand this virus. If the politicians had listened to the public health experts earlier, they would have understood the NOSOGEOGRAPHY of this disease, and would have warned us sooner to prepare. In the “spirit” of social distancing, this gal takes to the dance floor with her guitar and her tutu, completely alone.
An unusual New York City sight: empty streets as Spring breaks. Unfurling my legs– down the steps and to the sidewalk, they lead, familiar with the paths of isolated walks and socially distanced strolls.
Past the empty schoolyard, I pause under a cherry blossom tree. It reaches its arms up to the sky, basking in the sun’s midday rays. Its petals fall to the ground. Its cycle is constant.
There were scientists who warned us, be we didn’t listen. There were doomsday shouters, but we didn’t hear them. I sit in my house looking outside, through a piece of film, like rose colored glasses, allowing me to see what I want to see. I cannot vaticinate today, cannot prophesize tomorrow. I know enough to know what I do not know.
I just recently discovered that designer Alexander McQueen commissioned jeweler Shaun Leane and sculptor Annika Hellgren to revamp the traditional YASHMAK from Muslim women’s culture into a bejeweled, non-gendered medieval-style piece of armor. It’s now in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can see a video of the piece being worn for the Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London here. It’s a daunting work.
This video is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76. Words can still resonate even hundreds of years later and in strikingly different contexts. It was recorded at the West Village institution, Kettle of Fish. A moment with Shakespeare on a winter evening. Certainly culminant. A fine actor and no better words written.
When you think of The Bronx, is bowling the first word that comes to mind? I would guess to answer no. Gun Post Lanes, though, at the corner of Gun Hill Road and Boston Road, is a look inside the ordinary thrills of The Bronx by engaging in a less-frequented activity. Most New Yorkers usually travel through The Bronx, go to Yankee Stadium to watch a baseball game, or visit local attractions such as the New York Botanical Garden or The Bronx Zoo. What about seeing The Bronx from the inside by doing an activity at a place that is not known for that activity? Being inside Gun Post Lanes, between the sounds of the bowling balls hitting the wooden alley and pins falling to the back drop of a dark hole, you can envision a Friday night in the 1950s with the out-dated wall decor and QUIDNUNCS filling the room and chatting away. In this post-war scenario, you can also hear DIGLOTS VATICINATING the outcome of the ball’s movement and the pins destiny. What if we all engaged with less-frequented parts of New York City from the inside out, thinking about the old and the new?
The sounds, rhythms, and feelings that are heard, felt, and sensed being outside in New York City during the summer is one of a kind. Being at a block party captures all of these sensations, HOLUS BOLUS. I had never been to a block party in Brooklyn and when I did finally go, I was torn between enjoying the moment (sans technology) or shooting a quick video to capture the moment and share with my friends and family later. I chose the latter. In this video, everything is captured. Though in a hasting fashion, from the stoop of the brownstone, at a sort of CULMINANT, you can: palpitate the sound of the speakers, the rhythm of the hip-hop music playing, the urge to dance from your street, and the need say nothing–just watch, listen, and record.