Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brief Descent Into Cat Blogging

I have been printing, but I haven't set up a place to copy prints yet, and the daily life has recently upped the ante, with middle school dramas and mid winter break. The cats have been charming, and so here we are. Voltaire poses quizzically on the newly purchased yet old carpet.

Something about the carpet is like catnip to him and he rolls around, rubbing his face against it.

Although the patio is a bit stark at the moment, the cats really like it out there.

Coco gets really wild leaping around, meowing with her tail in a brush.

It snowed yesterday, a half hearted, early spring kind of snow. The cats were of different minds.

Coco did not mind the wet flakes.

She tried to catch a few of them.

Voltaire preferred to take refuge under the brazier. He likes to be in caves.

The snow did not last, but there is still a little chill in the air.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Broadway Junction

I spend a lot of time at the Broadway Junction subway station waiting for the J train. It is cold on the platform, so I usually wait upstairs where windows look out over the L platform and beyond. To me it looks like the country.

I am sure that anyone else would just see a cemetery near a gas station. Looking at the picture, this is what I see too. And yet, I keep expecting to see a horse and cart, carrying cut trees no less, rolling up that hill. I decided that the cemetery needed investigation.

A big problem with my new neighborhood, is that it is not familiar to me at all. I often feel lost, as if my inner compass is off. The streets below the Broadway Junction station are confusing and shrouded in elevated lines. I found myself on a shadowy street where cars were parked on the sidewalk, snow was black and unplowed, and the trees grew into the concertina wire. Soon I passed the Alabama Avenue subway station. The automated subway voice always seems to take a bit more pleasure saying that station name, with almost a southern drawl. I knew used the station to orient myself with the elevated lines as a guide to bring me back in the right direction.


I found the entrance to the cemetery. It was pretty bucolic, very calm.

I like cemeteries, I find them to be comforting rather than scary, especially the old ones. People have been living and dying for centuries.

The oldest tombstones are missing their names, worn away by time and weather. Streaked with moss, their old shapes seem almost cheerful.

On a hill I looked out and saw silver strip of water, Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways in the distance; what I have always referred to as 'the end of the world'. I felt even more disoriented, I do not know where I am in relation to the rest of the city.

I looked in the direction of Manhattan, and it felt so far away and it is not the view I am used to. Feeling a touch bereft, I picked my way through the muddy streets and past the bus stops back to the subway station.

There is a corridor in the station that connects the three subway lines. People line the hallway in front of the stained glass and preach the word of the Jesus. Sometimes they wait at the the end corridor to hand out pamphlets. Their hearts are good, they are not annoying like the people crying out about damnation on the subway cars. Maybe it is the light spilling through the stained glass that softens everything.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Last Time The Snow Was Pretty

The morning after my snowy night photos dawned gold and full of promise.

The snow was deep, it was not too cold, the schools were closed.

The nearby community garden looked like a snowy labyrinth.

It was all false promise, sadly. The sun disappeared behind clouds and has only made brief appearances since. The snow quickly disintegrated into vast lakes of slush. At least the schoolchildren had a good day.

Today we are in the middle of a horrible, ugly storm. I realize it is much worse in the mid-west where they always have bigger weather including tornadoes and hail the size of trucks. However, they do not have to walk around. We are all out there in the street with the sleet slashing our faces like small razors, and the rats scurrying through the snow banks, the salt mixing with the slush to create a brownish slurry. And on the subway, a woman in snow pants who seems slightly off, mutters and sways on the damp train as I realize there is a small stone in my boot with the broken zipper. I sit down after I get off the train and use a pair of pliers to get my boot off and the stone out (thank heavens for Leatherman).

Can't wait until the sun comes back with the good February light.