la grande pomme

8/22/06

We arrived in NYC in the late afternoon, and I’d taken a Xanax to get over being the cramped Lucky Pierre of a center seat, so I’m feeling a bit woozy as I post here late at night. I went and saw the first of the 24 Hour Plays where my brother did an awesome reprisal of Dan Kois’ play “The Rumor,” which was especially newsworthy since the show started at 11pm, and Sean’s got his own fish to fry all week.

Just like last year, same week, we stumbled upon the best weather of a summer that was, by all accounts, cruelly hot. It’s in the 80s, but pleasant, none of that nad-drenching horrorshow that accompanies temps in the 90s and humidity nearing 100%. For her part, Lucy stumbled down 9th Avenue like she owned the place, stopping to point out people wearing shoes. The funny thing about shoes; a lot of people wear them. Especially in Manhattan.

It has been long enough since our last extended stay that I am no longer feeling like we exactly live here anymore. I don’t feel like a Californian either; we’re in some liminal state of homelessness. Walking through the West Village tonight, I certainly knew where everything was, but I have lost the kinship I used to share with the other working stiffs I knew from the endless subway rides to the dot-com job.

I’ve often pretended to still live in places I’d long left – when I went to college at UNC, I still kept a post office box in Tidewater, VA just to have a constant connection. We have an apartment here, but it’s rented out, and thus not ours. The day will come when we have to make a decision, if only for Lucy’s schooling, but for now, we’re very much floating.

0 thoughts on “la grande pomme

  1. josie

    I was visiting a gal pal in NYC a few weeks back and noticed that the city has become very baby friendly. We visited the upper west side on Sunday and it was like some baby twilight zone: I think there were more babies than adults. They were running the show.
    I wish I had the time and talent to invent a nifty stroller. That looks like big money.
    So when will you send Lucy to school? Are you considering early learning programs or fast forward to preschool? just curious.

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  2. Beth

    So you haven’t been back to Park Slope yet? Well, here are some recent developments:
    *Alas and alack, Soundtrack CDs is closing due to exorbitant rents. Long live tangible music! Or not. Sigh.
    *Alas and alack, Good Footing is now a Bank of America (like we needed another bank).
    *Regina Bakery is now a fancy kids’ clothing store (more redundancy).
    *The deli on the northwest corner of Garfield is going to be a real estate agency (still more redundancy).
    *The computer place across the street from 321 is going to be a branch of Sweet Melissa’s patisserie (from Cobble Hill). V. exciting.
    *The Mojo Cafe on 7th at 3rd is going to be a branch of Tempo Presto, with cafe seating. Also exciting.
    *A cool new bar called Union Hall has opened on Union St. between 5th and 6th. Bocce ball, bands, books, a beautiful bar–something for everyone.
    Welcome home! On the LA vs. NYC front, I’m rooting for NYC.

    Reply
  3. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    I know what you mean. I still tell people I am from New Jersey, even though I have not lived there since 1986. And, I have lived in Maryland since 1993, but I still don’t think of myself as a Marylander. And, I don’t like crabs.
    Some photos of Lucy in the Big Apple, please!
    Hey, did you watch Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina. It was excellent. And very enlightening. And the whole situation made my blood boil. Mr. Lee can make a documentary like nobody’s business.

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  4. Matt

    LFMD is always smart and rational in the comments here, which is why I’m so surprised that she finds Lee’s Katrina crockumentary “enlightening.”
    The ridiculous conspiracy theories, the one-sided and unbalanced opinions, letting Nagin’s “where are the buses” line go unanswered (there were hundreds sitting under water since Nagin never bothered to implement the city’s evacuation plan, but somehow it falls under the Sec of State’s duties?), and the factually inaccurate reporting.
    See:
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTM5NDE0YzhiOTNhZTQxNzlhYTBmYTNhOWNiMDVhYTc=
    And:
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Njc2ZTFkODBjNmY0Mjg1MDQxNWU3NjhiMjUyZWFjN2I=
    And:
    http://www.brendanloy.com/category/science-technology/weather-space-nature/hurricanes/2005-hurricane-season/hurricane-katrina/

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  5. LFMD

    Matt! While I appreciate being called smart and rational (Ha!), I don’t agree with you about the documentary. I thought that Spike Lee was critical of everyone as was appropriate (even Ray Nagin). And, the documentary was enlightening in that it shared first-hand reports from the people who LIVED the events. I had no idea that people had to wait so long for FEMA trailers, or that so little consideration was given for families when people were put on planes out of New Orleans. Can you imagine losing everything you own, being thrown on a plane to who-knows-where, without anyone giving a damn about the whereabouts of your family?? In the US??? Or, can you imagine having to leave your mother’s corpse behind in the Superdome, attaching a note to her body for someone in the slim chance that she can have some semblance of a burial? These facts ALONE speaks volumes about what is wrong with America, let alone all of the other dimensions of the Katrina disaster.
    You can’t beat Spike Lee for social commentary, and he took no prisoners. My favorite part was when Al Sharpton berated Barbara Bush for her comments that everything was turning out better for the people who were displaced to Houston. Or, when Soledad O’Brien talked about how her 23 year old production assistant was able to gather more intelligence than Brownie. I mean. . . WTF??? These are the facts, and it does not make America look good.

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  6. Matt

    Thanks for the response, LFMD. People can make up their own minds on whether Lee’s treatment was fair, or focused more on the federal government than the local one (and just why that might be). I only ask that you read the links above.

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  7. Sharon

    Neva – Behind on my blog reading, but per your inquiry yesterday about therapeutic riding programs, I know there is one in Raleigh called Helping Horse. The Junior League is a sponsor of their programs and several folks volunteer with the group.

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  8. Ian

    Josie- we’re sorta still in denial about Lucy’s schooling, but I think we’ll do early learning in LA and then settle back in NYC for actual school. The choices and rigor seem to be better in Brooklyn, but we obviously have to do tons of research.
    And LFMD, read those links, but I don’t think Matt will mind me saying that you have to consider the source, and what they have to lose/gain by perception. Just think of what the Bush administration has to gain by pinning blame on local authorities, especially in this election cycle. Spike Lee is often provocative and sometimes hard to take, but I would never call him a liar.

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  9. Matt

    Ian’s right, I don’t mind. Read the article and let me know if something’s incorrect. But don’t dismiss it out of hand simply because it was written by a conservative. Interpretations may be subject to ideological biases, but not facts, which Spike Lee is in short supply here. I’m not calling him a liar, I’m calling him biased and unbalanced. It’s propaganda, and he’s playing to an audience of BDS sufferers, which likely includes himself. I beleive the last link points out some of the more egregious examples.

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  10. Ian

    This whole “BDS” thing is hilarious, and somewhat brilliant, as it easily tars all progressives with the same brush, thus marginalizing any debate.
    Currently 60%+ of the country now suffers from “BDS,” so it may not exactly be a “syndrome” and more of a “objective reality,” but then again, I’m deranged, so don’t take it from me.

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  11. cullen

    Is BDS anything like IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. What doesn’t BDS stand for anyway– Bush Dumb Shite, Bush Do Something, Beat Duke School, etc..
    Haven’t seen the newest Spike Lee ‘joint’ yet. Now I’m curioso. Thanx.

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  12. CP

    “Spike Lee is often provocative and sometimes hard to take, but I would never call him a liar.”
    politics aside (or not, as his work is inherently political, raising the question of whether one has to agree with his politics to appreciate the work itself. see also euripides, marlowe, brecht, shaw, d.w. griffith, leni riefenstahl, karen finley, philip roth, margaret atwood, aaron sorkin, and mitch hurwitz for more on this…), spike lee is an enormously talented, occasionally brilliant artist who deserves nothing but respect for his contribution to world cinema.
    (am I prone to hyperbole? absolutely. but it still does nothing to change the fact that far too many people suffer from SLDS.)

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  13. LFMD

    I’m back. I read the articles, Matt, and I am unphased. And, I do not understand why you say that Spike is short on facts. His documentary is primarily a first-person narrative from Katrina survivors — it is all factual, unless you think that the folks are exaggerating about their dead relatives, flooded homes, and the hardships that they encountered. Ideological and political viewpoints aside, I think that the power of Lee’s documentary lies in the fact that it is a social history of what occurred. You may be a Bush supporter or a Bush hater, but you can’t ignore the strong impact of the narrative. Democrat or Republican, you can’t watch that documentary and feel good about America and its “emergency readiness” policy.
    Now, can anyone tell me why Paramount dumped my honey Tom Cruise??? Is gushing about your love and criticizing the science of psychiatry enough to get you booted from the movie industry? Yikes. You Hollywood types really are swimming with the sharks out there!

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  14. LFMD

    Me again. I had to google BDS. Matt, I have VOTED for George Bush, and yet, after watching Spike Lee’s documentary, I wanted to bitch slap George Bush and his mother! So much for BDS.

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  15. xuxE

    hear hear on the spike lee accolades. i really want to see the katrina film too.
    one piece of advice, however. if you are an 18 year old white girl, don’t try to make your final presentation in AFAM class with the topic of spike lee’s contribution to reversing the history of racism in film. you are well intentioned, but you will fail miserably. trust me.

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  16. Matt

    Fair enough, Ian, though I hope you see that you marginalize the debate yourself when you dismiss points of view without addressing the substance, but merely writing things like, “consider the source.” By the way, the National Review’s record is far more impressive than the NYT’s.
    I remember your Katrina conversion, LFMD, and think you’ve been mislead. But I wouldn’t diagnose you with BDS. In fact I think most commenters here are on the healthy side of political partisanship (though at times I’m concerned about Ian — I’m sure it’s mutual).
    The aftermath of Katrina, while obviously horrible, was grossly exaggerated by media reports and, in some cases, wholly untrue. Snipers, cannibalism, gang rapes and piles of murder victims…. As Goldberg noted, that first media malfeasance actually cost lives, as rescue helicopters were unnecessarily grounded for 24 crucial hours while at least 2 people died waiting for them. There was no racial component, as Spike Lee endlessly alleges in his one-sided documentary. Black deaths were actually under-represented as a proportion of their population.
    [Side note: I’ve seen this kind of destruction first-hand, as I was part of the Navy and Marine Corps relief efforts following the ’91 Bangladesh cyclone, which killed 138,000.]
    A film that uncritically puts forth the kind of conspiracy theories and Bush bashing that Lee’s film does, is not a serious look at the truth. While there’s plenty of criticism to go around, to be sure, no one deserves more than Mayor Nagin, who ignored his own emergency plan, which could’ve saved many of the 1,200 lives that were lost. Lee’s film shows Nagin having the nerve to ask “where are the buses”? Why didn’t Lee mention the 500-some buses that Nagin controlled and which sat unused in a parking lot that eventually flooded? No time for that inconvenient truth, I guess. The film is full of this kind of thing. It’s paints an incredibly misleading and focused history.
    As has been noted, Mississippi and Alabama have the same federal government, yet their coastal residents didn’t suffer like New Orleans’ did. It was incompetent local government, firstmost.

    Reply

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