Saturday, March 13, 2010

A New York Story ---- Thursday March 4, 2010

I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but a little lovely thing known as a 20-year Dance Retrospective has been in my life this past week, and so, please suspend your disbelief and pretend, as you read the following, that it's actually March 11. Thanks.

Last Thursday, luck brought me part of a free afternoon, and so I strolled in the direction of a haircut, after work.  Not really caring how I got to Astor Place, I noodled downtown, wending this way and that, and crisscrossing Manhattan's grid. Just past St. Vincent's Hospital (now on life support, itself, and one of the few hospitals in town where one can birth a baby with sole midwife support--and not uncoincidentally, where the progeny was born.), I came across a wonderful 9/11 Memorial I had completely forgotten about. It's homemade, and mounted on the chainlink fence of a small, small parking area in Mulry Square.



I took some time to soak it in. After all, I was in no hurry, and it's good to stop and think and remember from time to time. There are many missing tiles, their telltale empty bailing wire still bent and twisted on the fence. The thought of ghostly shadows on the sidewalks of two Japanese cities in August, 1945 cross my mind. Then I looked down at my feet.

A child's painting of the moon over highrises, with love coming from the smokestacks.
I had time, and this tile needed help. So I looked for a nearby tiewrap or bit of bailing wire in the street. The empty, twisted bailing wires on the fence, small monuments on a monument, ought to stay in place, after all.


So I headed down a diagonal avenue. This plastic newspaper strap almost cut it. I know life is temporary, but I needed a little more staying power than this shredded thing.


Further down the block, I passed the shop of a lovely leather producer. I bought myself one of his bags about ten years ago. He embossed my initials in a leather keychain--which I still use--and proudly handed it to me, smiling, and said, "Now, you are a customer!" If you have any questions about the Old School, go see Joseph Hanna.

Gorgeous bags notwithstanding, what I really wanted was a few twist-ties--enormously strong, and probably available for free at a corner bodega, like this one. But I didn't want to just ask for the twist-tie, altruism aside. So I hit their ATM machine--I had no cash.

And then back to the tile monument...

After, I scanned the perimeter. There was another one.

I'll be bringing some glue into town, soon. It's good to take care of our own, in ways both big and small.

But not this Web site...

March 11. In 6 months, it'll be another September 11 anniversary.

Thanks for reading, and remember, squeeze your loved ones tonight.


  1. What you did was such a beautiful reminder that we should savor each day and those who are important to us. Your thoughtfulness shows a depth a spirit that is telling and indicative of a true American.

  2. Thanks for the walking tour through New York... Makes me miss it all over again.

  3. Very moving--and what wonderful tiles!