Monday, April 14, 2008

kind of wild spring weather here, enough to make one of my international students ask, hey, what's up with this weather? actually it was a student from another class, who just happened to hear me say something to her teacher about it. in fact, it's normal for spring- warm one day, cold the next, flowers and buds everywhere, yet possible freeze warning for tonight. last night it was raining as i went to bed, and i had a bad night's sleep imagining riding my bicycle to work in the rain in the morning. but this morning it was clear, cold, kind of like after a blizzard, so clear i could see every new blade of grass- and the sun was in my eyes so badly that i had to concentrate on the road, and almost missed saying hello to an old guy that i see almost every day. i even turned on the wrong road; i could see where i was, but only with the difficulty of having the sun blind me, and i wasn't looking carefully, and turned too early. it didn't matter much- the west side is all ranch houses, and the road i took was a bit more gradual in its uphill than the normal route, which is flat most of the way and then has a simple, quick uphill. traded a few blocks of ranch houses for a few different blocks of ranch houses. and it's the same ones, basically, that i've seen for a few years.

which brings me to the next subject, which is general architectural deprivation, which one suffers when one lives in a place like the ornament valley, where such things as a painted wall or an addition on a house will pass as "new" but will quickly become "old" as one scans the horizon for anything. it was such a relief to go to new york, where every block had a surprise, an old building with hand-made brick lattice and turrets and all that stuff i don't even know, since i never use the words around here. the problem there was, there were so many people around, and such traffic, and it was all so interesting, that i could hardly take a breath and take it all in. on one street was carnegie hall- fantastic, i thought, but there was construction there, and it was a busy corner, and i almost got run over staring at it. cars were honking. and i wasn't even standing in the middle of the street. was just waiting for a walk sign- thought i'd do that, wait, be polite, just in case the locals had a complex about it, or it all came down to whether i was law-abiding, after some guy smashed into me. so i waited at the don't walk signs, and looked at the buildings. but, as i said, i could hardly take in some of the prettier ones- it was too busy. had to settle for a quick glance, as i did several times.

but then, all of a sudden, in a cross street, maybe around 54th, i found a beautiful old building. and now, i can't find the link, can't remember the name clearly enough, it was like city cultural center, or some such thing. the street was narrow, and relatively empty- there was time to just stand there. the day was beautiful, like today- clear, cold, windy, fresh. and the architecture- completely wonderful- intricate, gorgeous, handmade, sandstone, personally carved in spots, and very unique.

made the whole trip worthwhile. i loved the people- but hey, a good building, a visual feast, that'll have to last for a few years of ranch houses.

1 Comments:

Blogger Peggy said...

Tom,

I couldn't find your e-mail address and I couldn't see an e-mail link on the blog. I just wanted to check in on the occasion of Josie's 30th birthday. Crikey! That time flew by didn't it! She has turned into a beautiful, smart and funny woman. I bet you're awfully proud of your daughter.

Kind regards,

Peg

4:16 PM  

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