Archive for Journal

Fall in the Bronx

Spent the day at the NY Botanical Garden. Some fall foliage for you, plus a hint of the holiday season. As always, click on any to get to the rest on Flickr.

fall foliage

fall foliage

fall foliage

fallen leaves

fall foliage

fall foliage

decorations not yet unpacked

Rainy in the park this morning

…but I stayed for awhile.

man out strolling

man out strolling



autumn trees

autumn trees


autumn grasses











well-prepared child

well-prepared child

Forty-third Saturday

Gull wheels through gray sky,

Slides along above pilings,

Seeks protected perch.

Traffic’s whooshing hiss,

Rain splattering umbrella,

Bass music’s loud thump.

Tents shelter stalwarts:

Charity party on pier.

Runner splashes past.

Pumpkin Smash!

Don’t know what to do with your post-Halloween pumpkin? Throw it off a wall!

Bring your pumpkins, jack-o’-lanterns, and decorative gourds to an NYC Compost Project pumpkin-smashing celebration near you! You smash them and we’ll compost them locally. Compost will be used to rebuild NYC’s soils. Refreshments (while supplies last), raffles, and more for participants.

This one’s in the Bronx, but they’re happening all over town in the first week of November.

Rain or shine.

Wednesday, November 5 • 3:30–5 p.m. • Lehman College • 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West

I love New York

Went to a Korean traditional music performance a few nights ago. The event started with a famous singer/percussionist doing a shaman blessing song. This is customary at a public event — the singer exorcises negative energy and prays for good fortune for everyone attending. He starts with the story of the founding of Korea, and then sings about where he’s from and where he is now. Then before the blessings there’s a long list of negative energy to exorcise, most of it time-honored: “the negative energy of your parents’ illness” and “the negative energy of the foundations of your house” were two of the evil influences the singer exorcised for us. He’s allowed to add anything he feels needs to be added, and in this case, after singing about his trip from Seoul to New York, the singer started his list of exorcisms by eliminating for us New Yorkers “the fear of dying in the streets.”

I love New York.

River report

Glorious sunlight and a clear blue sky this morning, and a most interesting phenomenon. The wind blew gently, from the north. I wouldn’t have said it was strong enough to even notice, but that’s down on the bench where I was. Three times as I sat with my tea, groups of seagulls — three, four, five of them — flew toward the center of the river and began to spiral up. When hawks do this in groups it’s called a kettle. Seagulls don’t generally fly very high. They don’t migrate and they don’t hunt, so they have no reason to need a long view and in fact are better off if they’re close to the water, where they can see the crabs and fish and bagels. And yet three groups of seagulls, just in the time I was sitting there, flew into a thermal current and rode it as high as they could, way up where they were just tiny dots, not flapping their wings, just soaring on the updraft. There’s no functional reason I know of for seagulls to do this. I can only surmise they were having fun.

Bella the Cat

Bella has a fleecy pillow she spends most of her day on. Yesterday was laundry day, which she doesn’t like anyway because the bed gets stripped, causing great upheaval. But yesterday her pillow’s fleece cover needed washing, too. At first she was at a loss as to what to make of the situation.


With obvious editorial intent, she tried the laundry basket itself.


Then she decided, if you can’t sleep on the one you love, love the one you’re sleeping on.

curling up

(I’m happy to report the Linus-like crisis is over and everything’s back to normal.)

Forty-second Saturday

Single wave rolls in,

Heads for wall straight on, slaps up,

Meets itself, rolls out.

Blue sky, blue water,

Green leaves shifting yellow, brown,

Golden stripes of sun.

High tide after rain.

Lone cormorant on piling.

River wets his tail.

Forty-first Saturday, one week late

(Because I forgot to post these, sorry!)

Golden-lit towers.

Charcoal clouds sliding behind,

River rippling past.

Pilings in shadows.

Gulls unseat one another.

Ferry pulls from dock.

Siren in distance.

Stoplight changes, cars roar by.

Traffic stops. Silence.

New public art at Lincoln Center

And boy, is it a doozy! John Gerrard’s Solar Reserve is an animated virtual representation of a solar tower array. It changes slowly but constantly. It’s in place until Dec. so I’ll be able to bring you lots of photos. Here’s the first.

John Gerrard's Solar Reserve