Tuesday, 10 July 2012
How nice to hear from so many of you that I'm not alone in falling off the deep end slothdom by spending nearly every waking hour in a #$%^&* television series.
Unlike some (yes, even some likable people who comment here), I don't disdain television. I have a low boredom threshold but that still leaves more excellent programming on the tube than you might think.
On the other hand, there are so many other good ways to spend one's time that I miss a lot of the best stuff – as my current Damages marathon attests.
This obsession continued Sunday night and is still going on Monday. Early in the day, in an effort to leave a little something here for you, I put together this picture show.
Annie lives in Greenwich Village a few blocks from where my home was and she keeps me up to date on what's happening in the neighborhood. I mentioned to her that I've somehow made my new home on the left coast into a bit of a shrine to the city I miss so much.
Perhaps it is beginning to get out of hand, but as I told Annie, I'm old now and I'll do what I want.
This is a collage by Marilyn Kaplan that I bought at the spring Greenwich Village Art Fair in 1972. This is a poor photo of it, but in person it captures the feel of the city for me – at least, how it felt then, 40 years ago.
In 1991, Carnegie Hall celebrated its hundredth anniversary and I spent a couple of months working on the production of the day-long PBS television show to celebrate the event. They actually paid me money to spend a whole lot of time in preparation for the show learning details of the history of the Hall, its architecture, the musicians and artists who played there and all the stories that go with that.
This is the poster from the celebration and you can find out more about it here.
In this photo, you get three for one:
Zito's had been turning out the best Italian bread in New York City for more than 80 years. You could find it in the best restaurants but it was also my neighborhood baker. Then, around 2003 or 2004 or so, while I was still living in New York, it suddenly closed after the landlord quadrupled the rent.
On the last sale day, I bought half a dozen loafs to freeze for myself and had one of the paper bags framed. I'm still looking for bread that good.
The brown bag on the lower right of the photograph is from Porto Rico coffee company in the Village. Its been there on Bleecker Street since 1907 and I've been buying my coffee there since – oh, at least 1980. I still do.
I have it shipped to me every few weeks. It's the blend it took me years to settle on, so I'm not going through that experimentation again and even with shipping charges, it costs less than the best local brands. It is also a full pound of coffee; everyone else these days charges more for 14 and even 12 ounces sometimes.
A friend brought me the photo of the twin towers on 12 September 2011. He purchased it from a street vender on his walk to my place and it's not the best likeness of the two buildings I've ever seen but it's still a worthy reminder and besides, it is a gift.
Speaking of Porto Rico coffee, this is the calendar that arrives with my first order after January 1 each year. It's big, easy to see and one of those terrific, old-fashioned calendars with mentions of all sorts of obscure occurrences on every day of the year. And, of course, it also reminds me of home.
This is the most recent addition to the shrine – sent by a friend. You can see that it is embroidered with the names of Manhattan locations. It's not the most comfortable pillow I've ever owned but I like seeing all those names.
And now, having knocked off this post in under an hour, I'm off to walk to the grocery (all the exercise I'm going to get today) for a couple of needed items and then – more Damages here I come.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Joanne Zimmermann: North to Alaska