I guess one of the benefits of living in 21st century is that you can look up any word you do not know and get the definition of it instantly while reading a book. It is especially an efficient workflow for someone like me whose mother tongue is not English and whose goal in life is to master the language. Of course, the problem is that it is darn hard to put down your phone and get back to reading once you attained your answer. There is always a stream of information ready to be consumed in that little device…
Recently, I had a rare occasion of having to look up a word and actually doing a related research instead of ending up in a never ending digression. The word was ‘sublittoral’ which Don DeLillo (an Italian boy from Bronx as he’d like to call himself) used in ‘White Noise‘ while describing that heightened sense we all experience whenever we hear a shocking news for the first time.
A Webster’s definition of ‘sublittoral’ is:
“(of a marine animal, plant, or deposit) living, growing, or accumulating near to or just below the shore.• relating to or denoting a biogeographic zone extending (in the sea) from the average line of low tide to the edge of the continental shelf or (in a large lake) beyond the littoral zone but still well lit.”
It could be just me, but the definition did not clarify the meaning at all. It all became very clear when I saw this diagram from Britannica’s website:
I do not know what kind of field will require you to know this information (maybe an oceanographer or a rescue diver?), but I certainly found it to be fascinating. And, what a way to find out what the words sublittoral and pelagic exactly mean!
In case of flesh wound, blood will clot. Fibrin (a thread-like protein) forms network. It dries up. Clot becomes scab. Scab protects. Healing begins. Dear earth, may it be so. May we let it happen. Dear you… Drink water. Mix up your life. Eat your veggies. Hug a tree. Call one another. Near and far. Someone new. Skype and zoom. Travel. Across time zones. Ask “What’s up?”… Stay home.
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?
In 2008, George Kuchar made this short film about his mother’s death for our Abecedarium:NYC project. I gave him the word PELAGIC which means “related to the ocean” and asked him to make a video inspired by its meaning. During this period, he told me, there were just so many tears that this movie came to his mind almost spontaneously. (Lynne Sachs)
“The borough of The Bronx was a wonderful place to shoot movies when I lived there. If you needed jungles and mountain streams there was always either The Bronx Botanical Gardens or Van Cortlandt Park. For prairie settings an area near Bruckner Blvd. was ideal and for seaside vistas there was Orchard Beach. A magnificent setting, bleak and empty (like an Antonioni film), was the wasteland which is now occupied by Co-op City. For bombed out, war locales a vast stretch of tenements that stood in the projected path of the Cross-Bronx Expressway made apocalyptic visions possible. For inspiration there was always the unobtrusive structure named GOLD MEDAL STUDIOS where scenes from the Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward, Anna Magnani film called, THE FUGITIVE KIND was shot. And then there was the splendor of the PARADISE THEATER on Fordham Road; a true movie palace of incredible opulence. What more could a budding filmmaker want? The sexual frustrations and religious traditions also helped fuel the imagination and the full-bodied figures of many Bronxites added fuel to the furnace of seething passions. Though the scenery may have shifted and changed here and there the dreams continue so follow that yellow stained brick road, who ever you are, and become the thing you always wanted to be! Good luck!” (George Kuchar)
The passion of sex has become intertwined within our modern notions of love. Sharing loving moments with another person is the most primal human desire. And SEX is the most intrinsic physical expression of that love.
BUT if you’re home alone on Saturday night, without the tender touch of another, how could you possibly fulfill your desire? Read a book of course!
Each turning page contains a poem of loving tenderness. Skim the pages one at a time OR watch as passion explodes!
As infamous New Yorker Woody Allen says,
“Don’t knock masturbation, it’s sex with someone I love.”
On his land use and transportation blog, Starts and Fits, Aaron Donovan, examines Charlotte Street, and the effort to bring suburbia to the Bronx in “New Hope in the Bronx.” The post is from 2006, but thoroughly examines the history of development in the area using detailed maps and diagrams. If you’re interested in urban planning and Bronx history, it’s a fascinating read. While on the site check out his other posts on locations from St. John the Divine to DUMBO, and browse the Planning and Urbanism link collection.