Saturday, August 22, 2009

I stink

On the way back from steamy Tompkins Sq play ground yesterday evening my son, Mateo, said, "no, stop it, you stink" and kicked his Croc sandals off in to the street. Being 2.5 years old and willful, I should not have been surprised or even that upset, but yesterday felt different. For what feels like the 4th time in my life I am making a major move and it does not feel slight. Yes, I have done this shift between NYC and Texas before, but there have been just a few times when those treasured possessions have been disbursed. Yesterday, I saw my beloved books being rifled through, tossed around in delivery boxes and commented upon. My library is wiped clean. A young woman asked if I had any poetry books and I nodded enthusiastically, happy to unload some weight in the 100 degree heat of the late afternoon. With those give aways goes a certain part of my life's dreams, my aspirations, my hope. The focus has been just to get there, to find work and survive, and I had forgotten to pay homage to the history here on 4th street. Sometimes history can haunt but yesterday it said a teary good bye. I may stink now for not letting Mateo go down that slide one or two or three more times, but I hope some day he'll know how much it took to get to that play ground, and how hard it is to leave.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A little West Texas in Tompkins Square

One of the many aspects of living in the East Village which will be missed is Tompkins Square Park. Years ago I found myself studying the Ruth Orkin photo series of Tompkins Square from the Christadora (A World Through My Window) and hardly thought I could be traversing those same pathways. It is a gem of a park especially since they've done such stunning work renovating and beautifying and putting in those great playgrounds (three!)

My dog Scout loves the dog park there, for obvious reasons. He was a bit setback this Summer by some nasty virus that was going around that sandbox of germs but now we use the hose on our paws and that helps.

I found myself chatting with a guy named Ignacio about our dogs, both mutts, and why all the dogs seemed to be sniffing in the exact same spot. He mentioned the Boy Scouts I gave a very brief explanation of why mine is named Scout and Austin came up. Ignacio said better to be found in Austin than West Texas. This opened up a well of things to discuss. He asked where I lived -- Marfa -- and he had lived in Alpine. For close to a year he worked on the horrible PBS series, Ranch House, but for years he's been writing about Black Cowboys and the Buffalo Soldiers. Small world, indeed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Terrible twos and a resultant vocabulary

The sentences are replacing tantrums and whining for Mateo, I am proud to report. He is well known for what I believe to be the first sentence, "ouch, that hurts". This morning he made a concerted effort to put the following words together in a report on Sesame Street:

Super Grover opened the door.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

re-discovering NYC

Mateo and I set out to walk Scout yesterday morning on a stunningly beautiful morning and re-discovered our neighborhood just by walking down 6th street. First we went to the newly re-designed East River promenade and could actually smell the sea. Unlike the Hudson, there were no plane crashes to report, and just a lot of pleasure boats and barges. Scout loved the waves. Then we walked back west on 6th street and Mateo coaxed me in to the 6th Street garden off of Avenue B. I hadn't been there for years and had it not been for Mateo's persistence would have skipped it entirely. It's magical there -- wow -- and worth every donation, large and small or even compost. Mateo loved the goldfish pond with turtles. The Barak street art is part of my continuing series on LES art. Another fabulous billboard from Chico, famous airbrush artist of the lower east side. I love that Cheney looks like such a putz and that Barak looks Puerto Rican.