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NauenThen

O Western Wind

My favorite poem:

O western wind, when wilt thou blow
The small rain down can rain.
Christ that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again.
—Anon, 16th century

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More on Maine

Writing about the Wing estate (yesterday) made me think about my three years in Maine. I also lived in the woods in Prospect, near Fort Knox, in a house known as Idiot's Point, with an outhouse, a wood stove, cold running water, & one giant window that let in all the winter cold. I lived in a big old white clapboard house on the Castine Road in West Penobscot. I lived in a rooming house in  Read More 
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Paris on the Park

I marvel at how much I've never seen (noticed?) in New York. It's probable that I had never walked on East 70th Street before.

New York real estate is inseparable from New York money, which I don't have. And it's not like I want to live there, I like my little hovel. I've lived in a mansion, although not in Manhattan—in Bangor, Maine.  Read More 
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Monday Quote

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. —Simone de Beauvoir

Isn't this quote better without the last few words? "One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others." It's a more absolute relationship—I can't claim to be more important than you, I can't claim what I don't deliver. Friendship, compassion et al are just explanations of how to go about offering value. They're important but they only qualify the essential truth.  Read More 
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At the Explorers Club

We went for the Polar Film Festival. Good thing adventurous Robyn is up for anything, because it was basically $25 of so-so films with great shots of polar bears & plenty of ice and snow. I realized I find the monochromatic desert landscape monotonous, & the equally monochromatic arctic landscape thrilling.

The Explorers Club is one of those old New York places that has its own sensibility, with outsiders not part of the gang. "Our People," Beckota & I used to call the denizens of Film Forum, with their wadded newspapers & giant magnifying glasses. At the Explorers Club we overheard someone talking about cooking with camel dung & someone else whispering about extraterrestrial technology under the arctic ice. I loved it, & will probably never go back.  Read More 
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Farewell, Sunshine

Even though it was only there for a shade over 16 years, the Sunshine seemed so much a part of the neighborhood, even though I suppose when it opened we felt "there goes the neighborhood"—we had the poverty mentality of not deserving or expecting amenities. In any event, it was exciting to see that long-abandoned building in use.

A little history, via EV Grieve:
Built in 1898, the Sunshine Cinema building was formerly the Houston Hippodrome motion picture theatre and a Yiddish vaudeville house. After sitting abandoned for many years, the building was renovated ... with the Sunshine opening on Dec. 21, 2001. Read More 
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Stella!

Who knew that Macy's has a wonderful Italian restaurant? Stella's has really delicious & elegant food, with a pretty good view out the tall windows. My lunch was enhanced by sharing it with the dynamo Meshell Baker. I profiled her for Ladies Home Journal a couple of years ago & we've become friends. She is a force, my friends!

I don't think I've been in Macy's for 10 years, maybe 20. The last time I was there it was a dirty & dispiriting mess. I had gone to buy sheets & they were all dumped everywhere, dragging on the floor, & no salespeople to ask a question. Now it's clean & upscale. I checked out the swimsuits & they were way out of my price range (although Land's End turns out to be not that much cheaper).  Read More 
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As good a time as any

Hi, Bill! Happy birthday, Teresa!
I've been thinking a lot about a friend whose birthday is today, a wonderful woman who I've seen in person only a couple of times in 30 or 35 years, who I was out of touch with for a long stretch of those years.

Who is, nonetheless, a central person in my life.

That's because we met at The House. I've written about The House a lot, but I'm not sure I've explicitly said that those relationships are so formative that the people who were there & who felt the same will always be in my heart's inner circle. It doesn't matter if we aren't current. I maybe feel it a smidgen more for the 2 or 3 women who were there that summer, who also believed that people could live together in harmony & optimism, who also smoked a lot of pot & took a lot of acid (bonding in its own way), who love me as purely & directly as I love them.

Grateful always.  Read More 
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Carlina!

Carlina Rivera at Middle Collegiate Church on Sunday.
Middle Collegiate Church, seeing Carlina Rivera being sworn in as our District 2 City Council representative. How great to be celebrating among neighbors & activists. So much hope for her.

I met Carlina at an event for Eleanor's Legacy, a group that trains & supports pro-choice Democratic women to run for office in New York State & NYC. It was so obvious that she was a star. I came home knowing I was going to work for her. She has been in politics her whole life, knows everybody, is charismatic, smart, focused. Who knows how far she can go....  Read More 
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Monday Quote

It is in virtue of his own desires and curiosities that any man continues to exist with even patience, that he is charmed by the look of things and people, and that he wakens every morning with a renewed appetite for work and pleasure. Desire and curiosity are the two eyes through which he sees the world in the most enchanted colours…and the man may squander his estate and come to beggary, but if he keeps these two amulets he is still rich in the possibilities of pleasure.” —Robert Louis Stevenson Read More 
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