Showing posts from 2017

a saturday night

On my way to the city from Brooklyn on a Saturday night.   The energy is mild, but 8:30 is still early by New York standards and it’s summer. I walk past the girls on the platform in their short skirts and thick eyeliner;   their hair is beginning-of-the-night perfect.   They wait for the train, shifting their weight from foot to foot, radiating hope and desire. Maybe tonight will be the night. Maybe something will happen. Or at least, it will be fun. Their laughter is loud, nervous. Then I’m up the stairs and on to the sidewalk, back in the familiar buzz of the street.   The mom getting ice cream for her daughter, the couple walking from the restaurant to the bar. The night hasn’t really started yet.   Nearby, a driver in a car and a driver in cab play a game, mimicking each other as they tap lightly on their horns while waiting for the light to change. The driver of the car is in his 60s, but the delight on his face makes it clear what he looked like as a young boy.   Toot-toot!

grows in Brooklyn

“We got a tree!” Michael said when he first saw it, sticking his head way out the window of our living room to view the scraggly, adolescent thing below, just ten feet tall, it’s branches too thin, baking in the summer sun.   It didn’t look like the sort of tree that could necessarily survive the summer. When a new tree is planted in this city, it is beloved by the whole neighborhood. Trees are not taken for granted here, but are welcomed and tagged.    They are the subject of  sidewalk conversations with the neighbors and much inspection. And on one misty and drizzly day, when the world had that brown and blue hue particular to mid-summer,   we took it upon ourselves to put up a dog fence around our tree and plant some flowers under it.   That day, our neighborhood played a scene that could have been on Sesame Street. Next-door-Sue’s eyes got dewy when she saw us working in the rain, and she went upstairs and brought down some fertilizer from her apartment. Upstairs Tom sai