Another. I miss them.
I finished archiving 2000 in June, and took a break from heavy cataloging, but also had to add the photos I’d scanned myself over the years to 2000. It was highly tedious. It was not pleasant. Neither was what I had to return to—2001. It wasn’t a great year for me on any level, but ugh, it was worse for the city.
People have asked to see these images and I never really wanted to look at them or to present them in any way, but now that I’m chronologically moving through all the photos, it’s time. They are up on flickr.
The first words spoken to me when I returned to the States were by the immigration guy in San Francisco. “New York, huh? You live there? By choice?”
I marched on to baggage claim to wait 50 minutes for my bag to pop out. After a 1.5 hour delay because of “weather” in SF, we flew on to NYC. Once over the tri-state area I was flabbergasted by all the congestion. There are probably more people in the NY Metro area then the entire continent of Australia. Good word. Do they really need me here, too?
My bag arrived quickly this time. The airport was quiet as it was nearing midnight. I caught a cab for 20 miles that cost a fifth of my 10,000 mile flight to Sydney after being told that the supershuttle I’d reserved would require a 90+ minute wait. That’s the service one gets with a reservation? Sit until past 1:30am after 27hrs in transit? Welcome home. Imagine living in a place where someone can pick you up from the airport. Sigh.
When I loaded up on groceries the next night, after a few hours sleep and a full day of work, I tried to imagine someone in Australia rolling over my foot with a cart and not even looking up, much less apologizing. No. Wouldn’t happen. Yet here it’s commonplace, I grumped, as I flexed my crushed foot. At Fairway? It’s premeditated.
Some people love this and everything else about New York, but the older I get and the more I get out, I realize that it just isn’t normal, healthy, or pleasant. Unless you’re a millionaire, New York is an entirely uncivilized place to live. Yes, there are lots of nice moments. Like the MTA guy who let me in without paying because none of the vending machines were taking debit or credit cards and I needed to buy my monthly pass. And the baby seated next to me on the train home who grabbed my thumb and held it the rest of his ride, unbeknownst to his mother because of his puffy coat. But these don’t quite make up for the angry bodies pushing onto the trains and up the steps, not to mention the lack of infrastructure to handle so many people. Why weren’t the four machines taking cards anyway? One only took coins! People think they’re tough because they deal with this stuff all day. Bullshit. They’re numb. I know. It’s not a great way to be. Get out for a while and breathe. Stretch out. Relax. Ahhh.
Anyway, I get like this often, especially on return from a trip. Let’s hope I finally do something about it. And soon. Far too quickly I’ll be back to thinking it’s normal.
Andrea was pleased to hear about my new rashy (yes, aussies have to add -y/-ie to everything. It’s a sea shirt, short for rashguard). No skin cancer for his northern girl. Indeed he spent his early-morning birthday call on Monday making me laugh about our impending camping trip across southern Australia. He was telling the women at work about the camping, and perhaps the new tent, and one woman laughed and said, “you really know how to impress a woman, don’t you?” and another, “So you’re trying to get rid of this girl, right?” Haha. And I thought they were sporty in Perth. He’s worried that he’s invested in a fancy new tent and I’ll decide on the second day that I’ve had enough and will insist on B&Bs the rest of the way (on the Nullabor? Right). He really doubts that a woman who dragged upper-middle-aged aussie tourists across the central asian Kyzyl Kum desert and survived countless night buses in India and Pakistan can handle a road trip across Oz? Oh, we’ll see ’bout that, mate! That is, if I survive the flights there—a bit over 39hrs door to door.
I spent my last NYC Saturday subbing yoga classes and sitting at my desk for 7hrs going through the scancafe images, as they wouldn’t just complete my order as is, as no extra charge because of the many issues with the order. Their site was slower than usual, which made it all the more tedious. (I’ve about 1000 more to get through today, which I’m doing now, writing this as the folders load. In the end, I will delete about 50%). It’s weird to be going through so many images from my past when I have a beautiful new camera begging for my attention. I ended selling my first as it was quite old (5 years = ancient in digital years, though still in great shape) for a new one, as I know that current cameras can handle light much, much better than sensors of 2004. Trying to do as little as possible today, to avoid pre-trip stress, but I do need to finish these, catch up on some email, and clean.
Absolutely dazzled by the trip, but a little sad to be out of NY for the thanksgiving to new year period. It’s a great time here, and I love the rituals, even if I only observe them from afar. Will be my second New Year in Oz. Ooooh, summertime! Cannot wait.