Saturday, May 17, 2008

Now THIS is New York

It's 6 pm.

I'm sitting by my front window and there are about 300 people across the street learning how to salsa together in Tompkins Square Park. The instructor is guiding them from one step to the next. To see all these people moving in time with the salsa and instructions echoing across the park is beautiful.

It looks like they are moving into the Rumba! Now I want to take lessons.

I'm on my own this weekend. The boys are up in Boston making a pilgrimage to Fenway Park so I'm flying solo.

As my first act of defiance, I woke up at 8:05 (about 11 am non childrearing time). I walked Saki all over the park and hung out with my friend Martin for a while. He is an artist and a surfer.
I did a few chores then took Saki out to check out the...

UKRANIAN FESTIVAL on East 7th Street afew blocks away. My dad is part Ukranian and spent many years as a child living on or near 7th street.

I dropped my thirsty dog home and went to St. Mark's Place to watch the Dance Parade that began somewhere in Chelsea and shimmied down to Tompkins Square Park. That parade did me a world of good. There must have been a zillion different dance troupes, dance schools, dance groups and a few dancing drunks shaking their groove things for blocks and blocks.

What I LOVED best about it was that the people dancing all had different bodies - sure there were the lean and tall legions but they were way outnumbered by the wiggily, jiggily let it all hang out baby brigade. There were disco dancers, followed by South American traditional dancers. There was a group of black women in black unitards and plumed masks on roller skates doing disco moves. At one point I saw a guy in traditional Greek costume hanging out with a woman who was one of the multitude of bellydancers who showed up. It was just insane, sloppy and great.

They all marched into the park where...they danced some more! At the water fountain of the three graces - three women each wrapped long wide red pieces of cloth around the sculpture and then wrapped themselves in it, moving position very slowly while someone played the violin. It was cool!

After parade watching, I got a slice of pizza and went to the read that right. Then I wen to Trader Joes and came home and plopped myself down. In two hours I'll be going over to the Pearl Theater on St. Mark's to see the Importance of Being Earnest.

It's a good day in New York.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Baby

Today I walked down the stairs of the subway en route to pick up Benjamin after work. I'm going into week two of a crummy sinus infection and work continues to drain the joy out of me these days.

I walked by the magazine stand on the platform and glanced at all the gossip magazines that seem to rule our culture. Don't people get bored sucking in all that garbage? I take it too seriously.

I looked over and saw the front of the New York Times and it showed a pair of Chinese parents who made a make shift cover of cardboard around their eight year old son's face. He was dead. A victim of the earthquake. It looked like he also had a blanky they brought to comfort him on his journey home. They sat together tenderly attending to him. Doing right by him.

So many of these families have only one child in China. I can't imagine the grief hanging over these communities.

Needless to say, my job and health woes began to shrink down to their proper scale. Here I was running to pick up my beautiful son. And I was dam grateful.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mommies Rule Daddies Drool!!

.....Or so my son Ben claimed this morning.

It is Mother's Day -- a day which is part of my holy trinity (Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, My Birthday). After 18 years of marriage, Brian stands at the ready with flowers, cards and a gift - - all the tools necessary to feed the beast that is Mommy!

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mommies out there. You make the world go round.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Yep. That's what I did.

I was making the rounds and read writermama's most recent post (see link to writermama in the column to the right). Check it out.

It's an interview with some local downtown friends of hers who chatted a bit about life and style back in the late 70's/early 80's when the big apple was a lot grittier.

For me - nightlife began in 1980. Going to Danceteria, the New Peppermint Lounge, CBGB's. Having wide streaks of purple running through my thick dark hair. Army boots, Doc Martens, heavy black eyeliner, used tweed coats with big black guy belts. Impromptu huge parties in warehouses downtown. Wearing about fifty black rubber and silver bracelets on each wrist. The music, the nightlife and the fashion felt so sloppy, beautiful, interesting and alive.

The feeling that anything goes. What the hell feels better than that? I can't see that here anymore ... that feeling is the key to paradise. There isn't a day I didn't cherish it.

A good friend gave me sage advice. She said, "You didn't lose anything. You are your own East Village."

God knows I'm tryin'. Sometimes I just feel like the Cross Bronx Expressway.