Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tour of Grace Church

I'm obsessed with this beautiful church! So gorgeous!

I especially liked the sign showing Hymn numbers.

Manhattan Solstice

Twice a year, the sun aligns with the streets running east and west. This phenomenon only occurs because the city is aligned with true North. Sometimes it's called "Manhattanhenge."

I happened to be coming back from yoga around 8:30 or 9pm the first night I was in New York, and noticed people were stopping in the middle of the street to take a picture of the sunset (people do NOT normally stop in the middle of the street!). I pulled out my iPhone and shot this pic.

It wasn't until a week or two later that James sent me an article about "Manhattanhenge." Really cool, and a great memory!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


A little homesickness settling in- having a really hard time this week. Still so thankful for this experience, but everything has an expiration date, right? The after effects of sporadic, bad sleep are taking a toll on me. I dream about drowning. I have this weird, heart-shaped blood blister on one finger that I have no idea where it came from.

I haven't done the half-pigeon since last week. I'm going to do 3 minutes on each side, right now, just for Megan.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Bach at Noon"

I was walking by Grace Episcopal on Broadway/ 10th early this week and noticed their "Bach at Noon" poster, so I stopped in on Wednesday during my lunch hour to listen. The church is 200 years old but moved to its current location in 1843. Imagine! -that curve in Broadway dominated by the Gothic
building when nothing else much
stretched north.
The noon music was in the church's chantry (not exactly sure what that means) and offered a much welcomed
respite from the hot weather. The tiny tiles in the floor shook every 90 seconds when the R train rumbled below my feet like bass notes. On the pipe organ, the organist played "Allein Gott in der Hoh" and "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" and "Vom Himmel hoch." If Mozart is the heart and Beethoven is the fingers, then Bach is the brain. I closed my eyes (when not surreptitiously taking pics) and let the music flow through me. I was already dizzy and nearly sick from spending the morning reading about graphic ancient abortion practices (yes, urgh) after my 20 block commute in 95 degree heat. I liked the chantry and the people who came in to sit, to listen, to rest- students, tourists, the homeless.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anger Yoga

Last night at yoga it was so incredibly unbelievably hot. There was a yoga instructor I hadn't had before and I didn't like her. She asked the impossible. People were falling over, passing out, dripping sweat onto the floors. My yoga mat swam in sweat. Gross gross gross! I HATE sweating! The towel I brought was damp. It was crowded. It's always crowded. 10 across and 7 deep in one room. No fans, no air conditioning. I kept stopping and sucking down water, pouring it over my neck. She KEPT asking the impossible. We're supposed to recognize our yoga anger when we feel it. I recognized it. I was tired and on fire. My hands and feet wouldn't stick to the sticky mat, no longer sticky. I kept thinking that I wouldn't give any money this time. She should pay ME! She kept lying about the number of chair poses left. She had us do core work at the very end. For some reason, I could not hold the boat pose. My only rest came in the half pigeon, believe it or not, while my hip sockets screamed. Then she had us do one last downward dog.
I noticed that, for the first time ever, my heels hit the floor.
"Nice form!" I thought. Anger began to dissipate.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Week: It's stinky but I like it!

I've made it one week, and the city hasn't devoured me yet. YET! People are in a hurry and keep to themselves, but people are also kind to one another, and relatively polite. It's exciting and smells awful and is beautiful and overwhelming and vibrant...
I've seen a naked woman standing at an intersection, beggars, dancers, singers, banjo players, kids playing in fountains... I've taken 5 yoga classes in one week, eaten Thai soup and NY garden vegetables and barley soup and lots of bread, peanut butter and cheese, I've walked miles daily, been amazed and dismayed within the same five second interval...seen the super rich and the super poor, been nearly run over by stretch limousines and duct-taped bicycles...seen people sleeping in the park and seen people chatting inside private locked parks.... It's been exhausting and invigorating. {picture above: sunset 16th Street/3rd Avenue, July 10, 2011}

{pictures below: "candlelight yoga" at Yoga To The People, July 10, 2011}

Saturdays 1980

On Saturdays, the unbearable heat of Arkansas summer. The entire neighborhood perfumed with smells of laundry soap and bacon. He is always the last of everyone to wake up. He has a "fashionably late entrance" routine--he stomps barefoot down the hall toward the kitchen, each footfall reverberating off the walls (still stained with soot from the 1978 fire)... "FEEEE FIIIII FOOOOO FUUUUMMM!" We scream- he's coming, he's coming! Or some days, he changes things up by singing at the top of his lungs as he stomps down the hall, "OOOOOOOOOOOO Sole MIIIIIII-OOOOOOOOOOO" (it's my own sun/that's against your face). More screams. He's in the kitchen now. He says, always, always, always, "Anybody get the number of that truck?" It's a one-man show just for us, a routine he perfects over and over every Saturday. A routine we wait in anticipation for from the moment of crawling out of bed. And then he stretches and yowls like Rip Van Winkle has woken from his exquisitely-long nap. We climb on him like he's a jungle gym, chanting "pancakes! pancakes! pancakes!" He speciality is Mickey Mouse ear-shaped pancakes, or the letter of our first name. I receive a hot buttered "A." The tiny air conditioning unit whines in the window. Butter melts in the heat, dripping onto the counter. It's the kind of morning you think will last forever.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chess matches at Union Square Park. Thrift store fun. Yoga show-offs. Herbal sorbet at the farmers' market.
All on a beautiful, sunny Saturday.

At the farmers' market, I bought a tomato (which I ate like an apple in the park) and a baguette of whole wheat sourdough, a zucchini, and a tub of goat cheese from a Pennsylvania goat farmer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Street scenes July 7, 2011

"The American street has not, perhaps known these historic moments, but it is always turbulent, lively, kinetic, and cinematic, like the country itself..." Jean Baudrillard "America"
Caught in a downpour 12 blocks from my destination, 11th and University.
Manhattan Clam Chowder sign: Washington Square
"Love Me" mailbox, Washington Square
I spy a gated cobblestone street, NYU campus, looked European...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for Schmucks

This is my grocery receipt from Trader Joe's, and what I've been eating:
1/2 gallon fat free milk
apple cereal bars
flax cereal
apple cider vinegar
string cheese
pita pockets
Greek yogurt
canola spray
creamy peanut butter
1 avocado
4 bananas
2 lb. bag of pink lady apples

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The First 48

July 3: the screaming baby in my row aka The Killjoy. The Creature threw pamphlets and stuffed animals at other passengers until he exhausted himself to sleep.

Line of taxis at La Guardia. Easy peasy. $26 ride. City shrouded with clouds and rain.

July 4:
Judson Memorial Church at left. Attached to church is Department of History, NYU.
Picture on right is the arch at Washington Square Park- view of Empire State Building throught the arch.

Photo at left is sunset, July 4. View down 14th St, I think?
Photo at right is 50 people in line half an hour before yoga class at Yoga to the People.
July 5:
"The Headache-" It took one cup of coffee + shot of espresso, plus two "Help! I have a headache" tablets to get rid of what was becoming a migraine. Hopefully, I'll settle in and be able to relax. I had a really sickening headache both yesterday and today. Goodnight!