1.Bleecker St. Subway
2. The Strand
3. My Sublet in Williamsburg
4. JMZ train entrance
5.The Diner (press photo - not me)
6.The view from my sublet window every day
7.The uppermost portion of my school building
Dad: "What is all that noise?"
Me: "Oh yeah, remember I moved to New York?"
Re: Street musicians on a Sunday afternoon whilst walking to the train and talking to my father.
Number two from the top not a library folks but rather The Strand bookstore in my first favorite of places in New York City, Union Square. I had my back to the fiction section and yet perhaps I should study some Judaica as the sign beckons. I picked up some of my future professor's work that I haven't tackled yet. This term I am taking a workshop class with Jonathan Safran Foer who wrote Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. So yes by workshop he will be giving me his thoughts on my actual writing. I am also taking a craft class in which I study works of fiction with Darin Strauss who wrote Chang and Eng which you must please, please read. It is beyond amazing. It is excellent to have reading as I get better suited for dining alone for the first time in quite some time. Though I don't mind it one bit I have a personal tendency to watch people if my hands are not filled with a book and I don't think the said people like it very much.
There are many wonderful things that have been said to me recently from my father wondering about the noise to painters in Greenwich Village wanting to paint me.
And then the sentimental of all words spoken is my Virgin America clerk (a nice little old man) who did nifty things to my baggage to charge me less saying, "We've lost an Angeleno but we've gained a writer."
Yes, he asked why I had four bags and I explained my situation and no sooner were those sweet words spoken than I was getting moved out of my cramped middle seat to a row right behind the first class cabin by a window all by myself so that I could "work"....on a rather crowded plane. And if you haven't flown Virgin America please do make it a point. They bring you food or cocktails if you so desire when you want it. You just order on the screen. This very same screen hosting hundreds of music (most of which are impressive offerings) and movies and free/premium television. I found myself wide awake the entire trip re-reading Denis Johnson's Jesus Son, memorizing the Western mesa, and watching the sun fall somewhere over the flat plains of Middle America, the small town electricity faint as bits of mirror.
I was wide awake with joy, fear, and a bit of shock. Even still this is all coursing through me and should be I feel. My smile is still splitting at the seams at its own leisure. Upon arrival I took a cab to my sublet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's a pre-war townhouse walk up with hardwood floors and a dominant color of white. The renter of which (I found on craigslist with fingers crossed) is a very nice and very gorgeous Ford model who literally just departed for Greece. I'm around the corner from the mouth of the JMZ train so my days and nights are filled with the sounds of buses stopping and starting, the train hissing on its rails, cab driver's personal life soundtracks, and a couple who like to stop and fight outside my window. I'm doing my best to not yell down and suggest they break up already.
These are all lovelies though (minus the couple) even when my face is washed by a wave of exhaust and I am fifteen blocks off course. It all seems perfectly right and I am absolutely smitten with the aesthetic of it all. The brick townhouses and brownstones, the kids break dancing on the stairs, and the sight of books and crosswords in peoples fingers on the subway. Anywhere else I would notice more that my feet are blistered, bloody even in parts, and that I've just walked several miles. Right now though, I am just happy to be here.
I start classes on the 2nd of September and until then I feel my days will be much as they have been. Filled to the brim with walking aimlessly, train hopping, permanent apartment hunting, and reading/dining regularly at The Diner. This joint has fantastic music, food, and looks like the interior of a train perhaps because it is a circa 1920's dining car with exposed layers of paint, wood, and gorgeous tile work. It's the closest thing in sight and I'm a lucky girl because it's so great I wish it was my dining room minus the less interesting strangers. The interesting ones can stay and believe me there are walking stories in this city sprouting out of every corner and subway like wildfire.
But now kids, it is time for me to step out into the noise, take the carefully torn out scrap of the inevitably difficult Sunday New York Times crossword and find myself some dinner and maybe even a drink.