Category Archives: home

charging $5

HurricaneSandy-1-2Bastard opportunists at The UPS Store on Eighth Ave and 26th Street, the first block with power in Manhattan. Don’t shop there. Lots of places in the upper twenties allow charging for free, churches, cafes, etc. Power strips abound. Generators are popping up, too.

Oh, in case you didn’t lose power and don’t follow, it’s for charging your cell phones, laptops, etc. Phones drain fast with only one bar of occasional reception.

So, yeah. My tooth broke on day four of the blackout. I made it to the dentist the next day, to be told it needed to be ripped out and replaced with an implant and crown. It’s the second to last tooth in the back of my mouth, pretty crucial for chewing. Though I have dental insurance that covers $3000 of work a year, they won’t cover it. It’s “cosmetic.” Yeah, EmblemHealth-GHI thinks that basic dental health is cosmetic. So, I’m out $3100 and have a mouth full of blood. And I can’t get the crown ($1000 more?) for a few months. It’s painful, gross, and maddening. Thank you, Mo, for taking care of me until lights come on and my mouth is happy again.

When told about the blood, T told me not to worry. “Don’t worry about all the blood. It’s cosmetic.”

And the election is days away? Heaven help us.

Some heartening things going on? Bareburger, on Eighth Ave between 17th St & 18th St, one of the very few restaurants open in Chelsea, was grilling burgers on the street.


And hey, I’ve been meaning to defrost my freezer for awhile, anyway. Done.


hey, look

downtown power out

Hey look, people uptown prancing about like you have a few fun days off work. We Have No Power Downtown. No streetlights. No hot water. No internet. The paltriest phone reception. No computers. No cold food. No ELECTRICITY. It’s not fun. It’s not charming to work by candlelight on halloween.

And I’m not grumpy because the city looks sad without lights.Or because it’s superdangerous to walk around after dusk with no streetlights (cars won’t stop) and no way to see who’s lurking on street corners. Or because my tooth just broke on Two Boots and I’m trying not to ram my tongue between the raw root and the exposed mercury filling. Or because my dentist is in Queens and there is no subway or moving traffic. Awesomeville. Or because my flight to a beach might be cancelled on Saturday.

I’d just like to take a look at my photos. That’s all. Not the cell snaps. With electricity.

Thank you uptowners who have provided love, electricity, communications, and showers for your downtown friends.

Happy Halloween.


content to have missed the fall

Building before collapse, 8th Ave

I took this photo on a walk at about 4:30p yesterday, and walked back this way an hour later as winds were really kicking up. The building at the far right behind the bus signs lost its facade sometime after 6p. I am content to have missed the big moment.

Safe and dry, but haven’t had power since about 8:47p last night. Am at a friend’s on the UES, where it feels like nothing happened, charging my phone battery and gathering info before I head back downtown to candles, walnuts, and an evening practice.

Stay safe everyone.

spectrum of light

NewYork_2011-07-13_CellSnapsLast Wednesday, on the train to yoga at 6-something a.m., there was a guy standing in the doorway wearing a colorful tie-dye shirt. I thought it was an old school Lithuanian basketball shirt, but I haven’t seen one in years. I squinted to read the lettering, and indeed, it said, “LITHUANIA.

I smiled. Very auspicious. My word, those shirts are about twenty years old now. When I got off, I said to the guy, “I like your shirt.”

He said, “What?” then, “Thanks,” with a smile. His accent was francophone West African, which made me smile back.

George told me the other day that Z is Nadia’s (his niece) favorite basketball player. Or was when she was two, and still lived in Cleveland. “She would say on the phone, ‘I am sad because Z is sad. The Cavs lost.’ Where is he from, anyway?” George asked.

Žydrūnas Ilgauskas? Georgie!! He’s Lithuanian!” George has listened to my mother telling him how closely related Lithuanian and Hindi are since we were 10.

“Ohhhh. Well, I don’t think I even knew his whole name. I just knew Z.”

I see. Still, that Nadia has good taste in ball players.

That night, walking across 17th Street, we ducked into the Rubin to avoid a crazy storm. When it passed, we headed on toward Curry Hill for dosa. By the time we reached Sixth Ave, a gorgeous rainbow spread across the sky.

So many colors, morning til night. What a lovely town.

heartache incarnate

I posted this poem before, about four years ago. It reminds me of my brother. And of others, too. My mind keeps coming back to it. Maybe because it’s that time of year. Or maybe just because.

So here we are, 2011, the Thursday night before Mother’s Day. For the record, she did not have a good one. None of us did.

I read the poem again. And again. Again, until it is carved into memory. The lines that flow endlessly, beautifully, painfully through my heart are these: “You do what you can if you can; whatever the secret, and the pain, there’s a decision: to die, or to live, to go on caring about something. In spring, in Ohio, in the forests that are left you can still find sign of him: patches of cold white fire.”

Whatever the secret, and the pain, there’s a decision. You can go on caring. Maybe that’s easy for me to say—and maybe it’s not. It’s my decision, to go on, caring. I can’t make it for anyone else, but I won’t pretend I don’t want to.

This goes out to my loved ones, my tribe of true affections, who have struggled with this decision or have suffered the struggles of loved ones.

Perhaps I am selfish, but please, please stay. If you can.

John Chapman

He wore a tin pot for a hat, in which
he cooked his supper
toward evening
in the Ohio forests. He wore
a sackcloth shirt and walked
barefoot on feet crooked as roots. And everywhere he went
the apple trees sprang up behind him lovely
as young girls.

No Indian or settler or wild beast
ever harmed him, and he for his part honored
everything, all God’s creatures! thought little,
on a rainy night,
of sharing the shelter of a hollow log touching
flesh with any creatures there: snakes,
racoon possibly, or some great slab of bear.

Mrs. Price, late of Richland County,
at whose parents’ house he sometimes lingered,
recalled: he spoke
only once of women and his gray eyes
brittled into ice. “Some
are deceivers,” he whispered, and she felt
the pain of it, remembered it
into her old age.

Well, the trees he planted or gave away
prospered, and he became
the good legend, you do
what you can if you can; whatever

the secret, and the pain,

there’s a decision: to die,
or to live, to go on
caring about something. In spring, in Ohio,
in the forests that are left you can still find
sign of him: patches
of cold white fire.

—Mary Oliver


I need to go camping.