Thursday, June 15, 2006

I love New York

As I have stated numerous times, New York is my favorite city in the world. I was born here, I grew up here and even though i had to "do time" in the suburbs, I returned to it when I could. I feel so protective of this city, that I qualify as obsessive compulsive on the subject. New York is like a good partner in life. It's there to work with you, it will shelter you, adapt with you, raise your kids with you and love you and, at the end of the day, it won't put up with your bullshit. It's my kind of city and I respect it as much as I love it. This long-winded dissertation is how I am leading into the subject of moving.

I am moving - not out of NY, mind you, but moving nonetheless.

You have to understand how huge this is in my life. I bought an old brownstone in the middle of NY City about 8 years ago, and my husband and I "renovated" it. It was the culmination of a dream for me. I had always wanted to own a house in a city that is basically known for its apartments. No one owns a house here unless they are incredibly wealthy or born to the manor. I am neither, but New York, being the city it is, cut me a break. Not that it made it easy for me, mind you.

The house was affordable only when two houses were sold. The house had to be converted into two domiciles because in order to afford it, I had to rent out part of it. The house had to be replumbed, rewired and redone with 2 kitchens, and 6 bathrooms and it had to be done on a budget, to boot. Along the way, I had contractors take a powder, workmen steal, neighbors sue, and I aged. Along the way, I also raised a beautiful third child, had a lot of fun, drank a lot of wine, lost a few jobs and gained a few more and every day I was aware of the love that poured out of the walls of this house and I returned it in kind. That all said, I am relatively at peace with the move. The house is an enormous responsibility and I am kind of over being a landlord. I have had great tenants (with one exception) and the house has behaved as well as anyone or thing that is over l50 years old can behave. But I am interested in simplifying - the mantra of the baby boomer generation - and I want smaller digs. I love the space, but it's a lot more than we really need. We have good (so it seems) buyers and we have found a nice, good sized co-op on the upper west side. I am packing and getting ready to make the trek in the middle of August.

Every day has been an adjustment for me - with my having private little conversations with my house. It understands, I believe and, frankly, I don't think it would have allowed the move unless it felt somewhat good about the new owners who have said they like things the way they are. It would be nice to think they won't tear it apart after all our good work.

Lately, I have been sopping up New York in big gulps, and the other day I went to MOMA to spend the day there. I went to see the DaDa exhibit -never really understood what the movement was about. I kind of get it now but it still seems much ado when looked at from the perspective of 21st art. Nonetheless, it does represent real rebellion and I have always been drawn to that concept. Then I went and sat, with my knitting and a cup of iced coffee, in the garden where I took this picture of Picasso's goat. I love this piece because it was the first thing that made me feel alive after I went through the hell of a divorce about 17 years ago. I used to go to the Museum during my lunch hour since I found it to be incredibily healing to sit in what was the Monet room at the time. It was better, for me, than a trip to Church. I have always found my "connection" in the solace of creativity, and that work was a magic tonic for me. One day, I chanced upon the goat (in the old garden) and heard myself laugh outloud. It was the beginning of hopeful life again. This wonderful silly, greedy old goat with his bulging belly restored my humor and the sound of my own laughter made me hopeful.

MOMA has a great film and photography archive so afterward i went to see a film from 1936 in the theatre there. It was a sparkly little gem called "The Farmer takes a wife". MOMA was doing a respective on Janet Gayner (does anyone out there even know her name these days? - My mom loved her and I remember her movies from TV. She was also the first female actor to win an Oscar so she does have a lot of importance for film historians.) Anyway, it was Henry Fonda's first film and it was wonderful. He was more handsome than just about anyone in movies and the camera adored his face. It was 90 mins. of delight. Later on I went to Bryant Park (near the NY Pub. Library) and sat and knit and then I slowly walked over to Lexington Ave to meet my husband for dinner. Along the way, I took these pictures of favorite and familiar landmarks.
This is Grand Central with the light that is so perfect at the end of a New York day - it's a kind of rosy warm light that bounces off the surrounding buildings and bathes objects with a sepia tone:

This is the Chrysler Building, taken from a lower vantage point. This is the most beautiful building in NY if you love Art Deco architecture - and I do.

The air was balmy, the wind was blowing, people were moving along and I was in my element!
Have a good summer everyone.
I will keep you posted.
Sorry to be erratic in my own posting.
Working with new yarn from Portland Oregon and doing the Interlocking Balloon scarf from Scarf Style. I'm using the most wonderful yarn from Catherine Van Laake's "Loom in Essence" line - Silk/Merino - will send shot asap.

Knit & Crochet News
I'm off to the knit and crochet show tonight. Four days in Valley Forge, Pa, surrounded by knitters and crocheters and fiber enthusiasts. I'm a happy person! I wish everyone health, laughter and the love of the work they have.