Tag Archive for nyc

Snowzilla, Part Two

Went out a second time about an hour ago. Snow’s blowing harder. Walked — okay, trudged — in the other direction, not toward the river but into the neighborhood streets. Went maybe ten blocks away. Out and back took an hour. Here are the afternoon’s photos. Now I’m done, settled in, about to go back to the book I’m working on and then watch the Knicks, who apparently made it to Charlotte last night although the airports were closed by the time they were finished losing to the Clippers.

Door as I was leaving the building

Statue in the park

Green means go but so what, really?


Sidelined sidewalk cafe

Snowplow oops

I think we’ll come back tomorrow for the bike

Rather Gothic gate

We NYers will take our icicles where we can get them

Hope the 6th Precinct doesn’t need that car

Or that one (the 24-hour pharmacy, by the way, is closed)

Pipe connection

This is a traffic-ticket vehicle, so you KNOW they don’t need this one


Citibikes going nowhere


Vines on the wall

Snowzilla, Part One, plus a manifesto

These are some of the photos I took this morning in NYC. Yes, I was out. I go to the river every morning before I start work, by which I mean, every morning. The exceptions are morning when I have some early appointment, but the exceptions are not weather. Weather is part of the point.

Because I learned this in a sudden epiphany years ago: gorgeousness and pleasantness are not the same. What happened was, I went with a friend to Storm King Art Center. It was summer, July or August, a very hot day. Storm King’s a vast outdoor sculpture park, conceived and operated to present, well, vast outdoor sculptures. We’d been roaming over the rolling hills for about half an hour, sweating as we ambled from diSuvero to Noguchi, when it started to rain. My friend was all for running into the small house they use to show small works. But this was just a warm rain, no thunder, no lightning, and we’d been so hot and sweaty. And a Henry Moore was glistening white and wet in the distance. My friend went in; I stayed outside, meandering around on the soggy grass, seeing the glistening Moore, watching drops plink into puddles in Noguchi’s carved stones. And I realized: physical discomfort is unavoidable, and everywhere. My back hurts after a couple of hours at my desk. I have to grab for air playing basketball. Nothing, as long as I live in this physical body, is without cost. So why not get wet in a fabulous rain near plinking Noguchis?

This philosophy has served me well. I got to see double rainbows in Mongolia after a cold wet night.


I tramped through — and fell down in — slippery mud in the terraced rice fields of Yunnan, and I saw this.


And I went out today in Snowzilla, and found many things.

Outside from inside, just before I left.


Snowplow tracks

The river near my bench

Light and its reflection


Sledding kids (what a good daddy they have)

Trees and wall



I wasn’t at the river alone

Hard-working building super

Fourth Saturday

Wind gusts, tires’ chains clink,
Snow tapping on jacket’s hood,
Snowplow’s mighty roar.

Horizontal rail,
Slanted snow, roiling river,
Twirling windborne leaf.

Sledding children laugh,
Spin down pine grove’s slippery hill,
Tumble into drift.

Second Saturday

Tower on far bank
Glows in shaft of morning sun
Against charcoal sky.

Tide at highest point.
Just twelve pilings visible.
Hundreds more submerged.

No ships. Slow south wind.
Long low swells slide into shore,
Slip along seawall.

Hey, NYers! Here’s a book worth winning!

Not mine, not Eating in Translation’s, but Oxford University Press’s SAVORING GOTHAM.  You win it at Eating in Translation, one of my favorite websites, so check out the contest rules.  It makes a great holiday gift.  As does, of course, a 2016 SJ Rozan Calendar.

Happy holidays!


Fiftieth Saturday, one day late

Pair of soccer balls
Float slowly on river's glass,
Glow in morning sun.

Two paddling gadwalls
Slicing through waveless water
Raising tiny wake.

Long low swell rolls in,
Angles against seawall, breaks,
Single wave rolls out.

And don't forget your 2016 SJ Rozan Calendars!

Perfect for every room in your house.
Also, your friends' houses.
Every room.

I Love New York

Construction site coffee break.

Hardhat #1 takes out cigarettes.  “Hey,”  he says to Hardhat #2, already smoking.  “You got a light?”

Hardhat #2 takes out matchbook, strikes match, holds it out, lights Hardhat #1’s smoke.  “Thanks,”  says Hardhat #1.

Hardhat #2 shakes match out, claps Hardhat #1 on the back.  “For you, buddy, I’d burn this whole fucking building down.”

I love New York.


A short course in the short story

Some of you have asked whether I teach workshops in NYC.  Well, this winter I will.  I’m teaching a six-week course in The Crime Fiction Short Story, Saturday mornings starting Jan. 23.  Details on the CFA website, so check it out and come on down.

I Love New York

Into my subway car today come the doo-wop guys, who play the subway a lot.  They four-part their way through “Jingle Bells.”  The only people who put money in their little silver shopping bag besides me are the grinning young Asian guy with his hair in a man bun, and the Sikh in a purple turban.

I love New York.

Forty-ninth Saturday

On wrinkled river
Helicopter's shadow slides,
Ferry's white wake froths.

Tall construction crane
Looms over trees, low buildings:
Iron dinosaur.

Dog jumps on next bench,
Sticks cold nose in hand, wags tail,
Refuses to leave.

And don't forget your 2016 Calendars!