Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brooklyn Manhattan Run

Today I took a run and said goodbye to Brooklyn. I get sentimental about spaces and my interaction with the energy there, and like to say my goodbyes. I always do this, even when I lived in stinky LIC I went to the docks and threw a rock in the water.

Every place has its particular energy. Williamsburg to me feels like a flat radius, like some city that was once bombed and unimaginatively rebuilt. Everything is a gray box, and Williamsburg has some strange theme of slate grey plastic siding on squat houses. Interspersed with chic restaurants, of course, and hip kids eating overpriced food in outdoor gardens with plastic light candles. I don't get eating overpriced food in a kinda yucky part of town. Its like the juxtaposition of a girl in swank clothes and a blow-out and glossy heels crawling through the subway tunnels among the rats. I mean, really, New York is comical. And Williamsburg has always seemed particularly comical to me, too-cool-for-school kids pretending to be starving artists while paying city-comparable rents, getting $100 haircuts and purusing boutiques with 3 dresses along a wall. Girls with plastic hoop earrings and mod hairstyles smoking a cigarette with one hand and holding the handlebars of a bike with a flower basket on the front with the other. Call me cynical....but I don't get the 'Burg. My favorite part of the run was the stretch along the waterfront, looking at the sparkling complicated marvel of Manhattan throwing its reflection across the water like a big mirror, asking who's fairest. And I'm about to hop that pond. Its as big a change in NYC life as hopping the general, Manhattanites and Brooklynites embrace very different identities.

I walked down my soon-to-be Manhattan block the other day and found it blooming and lush and lulled with summer. The tree in front of my apartment was sufficiently green and shielding the windows I'll soon perch in again. The playground across the street from my apartment was squeaking with swings and the skateboard sound of wood on wheels. The community garden next to it was belting out Ella Fitzgerald, a sure Good Sign. The greenhouse was lit like a globe in the dusk, and some East Village character was pulling weeds or planting flowers, small pink and white Christmas lights lit along the trees. I walked through and said Hello, to him and the new shiny red footbridge spanning the pond with the Japanese goldfish. It looked quite spruced up. For some reason, even though I was in the middle of CrazyTown Manhattan on that block, it felt hushed and elevated to my heart, I felt the block levitate in my chest...which has been so heavy these past months. It hummed for a split second with that hit-the-sweet-spot-like-chocolate feeling, like freedom, like inspiration again. Just like how my heart sung when I got off the plane in Japan, and how the singing grew louder the closer I got to any temple, like it knew it was closer to home. It was like that.

Or, maybe I'm being dramatic.

I've been told lately I'm overly dramatic, but I'm sure these are comments by people who do not understand me. When I say over phones I feel like I'm going to jump off buildings they think I really mean it, not knowing I mean I'm going to jump off the building of some Feelings. I mean, when are poets so literal? I guess I should be more specific, but sometimes specificity is not accurate. I mean, if I say you're acting like I'm dead to you, it means my heart felt you roll over and I lost the reading on the radar of the simultaneous heartbeat action we once had. That's what I meant. Don't you know?

Sometimes I think New York doesn't get it. Its too speedy and surface-shiny, like the latest computer, full of bugs that will corrupt in time. It is too literal, as if higher means better and newer is greater. Of course, the longer you stay somewhere, the more it seeps into your skin. I, too, now have trouble absorbing lessons of slowing down........running along waterfronts, feeling the seams of two worlds touching, instead of sitting squarely in one.