It is 10 or 12 blocks, give or take a few, between my apartment and the Bayonne Public Library.
When I started, I would often take the bus. Once I ran outta surplus cash, well I hadda hoof it.
Man, I hated it.
Often I was sweating and out of breath by the time I got there or got back home.
Now, I dont even notice the time it takes to go to and fro. I even feel refreshed, often.
Bayonne looks ... unremarkable ... even to those who live here - with most of the buildings never passing 3 stories in height, and most clad in Sears Aluminum Siding.
But, I tend to pay attention and I take note of patterns.
Bayonne is a smallish town, yes - but far from unremarkable.
In truth, I think it is unremarkable because - the people here LIKE it that way.
No. 'Like' would be an exaggeration. 'Prefer' would be more accurate.
And in truth, in their own quiet way - the people here are far from unremarkable.
As they are everywhere.
If you pay attention to the patterns.
Randoms from my walks.
Who sez grandmothers *shouldnt* wear leather?
She was buying balls of dough from the bakery for thanksgiving, if I remember correctly...
NY Yankees on an american flag.
Defines 'hubris", dont it....
I should walk more.
Saturday, December 01, 2001
It is 10 or 12 blocks, give or take a few, between my apartment and the Bayonne Public Library.
Friday, November 30, 2001
Permit me a little existential blathering. Thank you.
Death -"We know everything that can be known.All knowledge exists within us. We just *tell* ourselves we dont to make it all bearable."
Destruction - "That sounds unlikely.Then why does everyone keep falling down manholes and tripping on banana skins?
Why does it seem like none of us -- endless or mortal, ghost or god -- know what we're doing?"
Death - "In order to make the knowledge bearable, we pretend not to possess it."
The Sandman - Brief Lives
I used to wonder why it is that few of us can tell the future.
Then I realized, because it is difficult to make sense of it all without the perspective of LIVING though it.
After thanksgiving, I wondered why I loitered for days in Brooklyn - even though I didnt want to.
And as soon as I heard the news - I knew it was then time to go.
Apparently, I was waiting.
I was *waiting*??
Wow. On one hand I was amazed. On the other, Im no longer surprised.
Yes, maybe, just maybe I do know how this all turns out.
But knowing how it all turns out... is not the point of it all. I guess.
Or maybe I dont want to know.
Thursday, November 29, 2001
This is an important time for career matters and the most
important thing of all is that you don't let your emotions
get in the way of what needs to be done. If you play
your cards right you could find yourself moving up in the
world very soon indeed. Don't waste time worrying
about those who miss out: just make sure you are not
one of them.
I hung out with Tim the Photographer the other day, talking business and other whatnots.
I was telling of a haunting realization I had recently...
Me: Looking back, I realize Ive wasted the last 3 years of my life.
Tim: Why is that, mate?
Me: Man. All the things, resources, money, opportunities..that I now need for the things Im trying to do was available, hell - *offered* to me as long as 3 years ago. If I had picked up on what I want and really needed then, I would be well on my way now.
Tim: That may be, but if you had, you wouldve been on a totally different track.
Me:Yea, thats true. But I still cant shake the feeling that what I was groping for was already all right in front of me.
Tim: But life woulda been different.
Very true. I probably would not have met Tim either.
I have few regrets over my life, but still. Ive been groping the last few years. In hindsight, I know what Id been groping FOR...
This is one time I wish I had been more aware back then.
Lunch with Tim. Randoms.
Normally I dont eat this schtuff, but sometimes I gotta when I hang out with the artsy, sophisticated crowd tho.. :-)
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
Life happens. And when it does, youre reminded what your priorities should be.
Apparently, Ive forgotten them.
Dammit. I moved here so that Id be in a position to help when this shit happens...
Myself. Because if I cant take care of myself - I cant take care of anyone else.
Family. You take care of them, if only because theyre the ones who will give a damn about you when no one else will.
Friends. Cant get anywhere without them.
Nothing else matters. Nothing.
Life happens, and you have to be able to take care of business when it does. No excuses.
Your priorities are also your responsibilities.
Yes. I am angry at myself.
Random things from around thanksgiving that I wasnt able to upload...
The Cappy recycled her halloween pumpkins into pies..
Was damned good. Good to have friends who can cook. :-)
Pies. pies and more pies
The ladies gave me a coupla small ones gratis.
I am blessed.
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Time to go home.
Since I left Brooklyn last year, this is the longest Ive stayed (?) here at the family homestead.
But Im itching to leave now.
To a place that will likely not be home for very much longer.
I dont think its because Im the itinerant type that Ma's place doesnt feel at all like home either.
In this place and time, I dont feel like Im 'home' yet.
Will I ever?
One thing about being in New York, as bad as the economy has tanked, the possibilites still seem endless.
Here, I feel like all I need to do is push a little bit harder, and I can make something happen.
In NJ, without a car - frankly, I feel trapped. The possibilites are a little less bouyant.
In NJ, I feel like Im paying a toll no matter where I go. Bus, train or even car.
In no small part because with a Metrocard and the transit system, I can get around far more easily within the city.
Makes a hell of a difference.
The Metrocard is an incredible thing, Im here to tell ya.
LilBro: I cant get online. It just dials and then I get the recorded message that "if you need to make a call.."
*sigh* Tech support. Is that all Im good for?
Me: Looks like the modem is bad. Sorry Bra, I wish I had a spare modem lying around.
Later, as he's cleaning through the hall closet...
LilBro: Hey! I think theres some stuff of yours in here.
Me: I thought all my stuff was outta here...
LilBro: Nah.. here's computer speakers, graphic cards, modems..all still in boxes.
Me: Oh. Probably what was left over from all the computers I made for everybody when I first came here...
LilBro: A MODEM!! Shit.. hook me up brother.. here's a screwdriver too...
LilBro: Man, this shit was expensive. You spent a lot of money for everybody.
Me: Eh. I dont think I spent that much.
LilBro: You shouldnt have been so generous. Look at you now.
Me: I shouldnt have helped people out?
LilBro: Instead of being the Dime Bank, you shoulda been more selfish. Watched those pennies.
Me: Mmm. Nah, I woulda done the same thing.
Me: Shit, if I had saved my money instead of taking all them taxi cabs......
LilBro: You'd be rich. :-)
"Home is where the heart is."
I think thats the proper quote.. if not, it should be "Where the heart is, there's home".
I havent been 'home' to NJ since Thanksgiving day. My stubble is almost a week old.
- I missed the Macy's parade, again. Never seen it live in all the years Ive been in NYC for thanksgiving.
Eh, the current flu/allergy bug hit my sinuses with a vengeance and I was loath to drag myself outta bed, even for turkey.
But, when it finally got dark, i figgered I might as well not break my 'home to Ma's for thanksgiving' 15 year streak, and head out.
For my trouble I got written up for a ticket for not having a ticket on the light rail.
Hopefully, giving them a slightly different address and SSN than reality will slow that process down.
Ma thought I wasnt gonna show, but was almost near tears that I did. Thanksgiving means a lot to her.
Turns out another reason Ma was hoping Id show, she was packing to go to Jamaica on the first plane out the next morn - and she needed some help to the airport.
She was kinda nervous about flying, even though she is a grizzled world traveller, specially since Air Jamaica flies those Airbus A-300s.
When she gets quiet and un-restless (highly unusual), she wants company and comfort.
So I was pleasant and accomodating about it (highly unusual).
Whoo. Theyre not playing at JFK. There were lines of passengers down the *car* ramp, 2 hours before liftoff.
Surreal to see crowds of humanity in the darkness before dawn. Usually, the place is deserted at 5:30am.
I used to be able to accompany Ma past check-in to the gate .
This time, I wasnt even allowed to step INSIDE the building.Unless you had a ticket .. no one was.
The xray machines are now at the door. My god.
I hadnt intended on spending the weekend in NY.
Im still here.
Eh, what else am I gonna do.
Random Crown Heights, Brooklyn..
Fulton and Nostrand
Nah, golden krust is NOT the world's best patties.
Hell, theyre not even the best patties in New York.
Nostrand and Atlantic
Nostrand and Sterling
Nostrand and Fulton
On the A-train
There are signs, with law enforcement busy on security details, that New York is slipping back into hellhole mode.
More shootings lately, as more are wandering around with guns, confident that 5-0 isnt about to frisk them. And the squeegee guys are popping up again.
My personal barometer, gained in the 80's when much of the boroughs were indeed god's green hell's acre, is when New Yorkers start double parking.
I kid you not. An accurate early warning sign as Ive ever seen, as New Yorkers start feeling they can get away with shit.
If they dont feel like there arent personal consequences to their actions, they start doing whatever they want.
The cops were doing a good job of making sure there were consequences.
In fact, before 9/11 - I used to see patrol cars all over Brooklyn.
This past week, I may have seen one.
At least the garbage is still being picked up.