Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Well I am finally back from my vacation in NYC. I had soo much fun. Other than the Michael Moore episode, I also got to see a WNBA game with Scott and Justine, which was amazingly fun. I am so not the sports boy, but these women made me want to be. Becky Hammon is sexy. I want to play basketball with her. (This is not a euphemism, okay maybe it is, shut up). Also got to visit the Cloisters, which made me cry. Okay well I had had a bit of wine the night before with Justine and Scott, so my emotional balance was a bit off the next day, but really, medieval gardens and chanting really did stir me up a bit. I was all about the thinking about if I lived back then I would so be a monk, I just know it. Brother Christopher, that's me. Anyway, I also got to see the Bronx Zoo, which is so damned big, and they have the best gorilla exhibit. Man, and those snow leopards are gorgeous. I love and hate zoos. They depress me and yet I want to get close to those animals and really look at them, too. Also went to see two musical, Assassins, which is brilliant, and The Boy from Oz, and wow did Hugh Jackman deserve his Tony award. He was brilliant. So much different than his cinematic work. I actually liked The Boy from Oz better than Assassins, even though Assassins is probably technically better. Boy from Oz just got to me emotionally in a different way, and it has this beautiful Busby Berkely-like ending that just rocked the house. And crap, Judy Garland and Liza Minelli! Ha! It was great. Got to spend Saturday with my friend Mary, who came down on the train from Albany. Seven hours flew by like one. So much fun and so much good conversation. By then I had gotten part of the city mentally mapped. One of the things that bothered me endlessly while I was there is that the directions are all messed up. North isn't really north in New York City, see. It's really sort of Northeast. And like that, they're all sort of messed up, and there is no horizon, and so all of my normal mental mapping processes were thrown off. And people, please all of this avenue and street business. Eighth Avenue and Eighth Street. Waverly Place and Waverly Place. People! Who the heck planned that city?? It's endlessly labyrinthine for a small town boy who is used to place named roads like Sodom-Hutchings and Fisher-Corinth, and other such family names. Oh sure, Youngstown had streets and avenues, but it's not so big that you actually had to have a grid to use them. I bought a cd by the most amazing Ohio group while I was in the city. The group is called Over the Rhine (which is the name of a certain sector of Cincinnati) and the double cd I bought is called Ohio. I've never listened to another musical group that writes songs and sings songs that speak to me about the place where I grew up than this one. Go forth and buy and listen to them. They'll break your heart. The singer reminds me of Joni Mitchell. So do some of the songs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And like that, they're all sort of messed up, and there is no horizon, and so all of my normal mental mapping processes were thrown off. And people, please all of this avenue and street business. Eighth Avenue and Eighth Street. Waverly Place and Waverly Place. People! Who the heck planned that city??"

Deal with it, farm boy.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I think I did deal with it, actually. Quite well, thank you. ;-)

5:59 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He hem. I believe there is horizon from our roof . . .


12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes, when I'm out just before dawn in summer, or on a winter twilight, looking uptown along one of the avenues, I catch a glimpse of something not unlike what I imagine Ohio must look like.

Rick Bowes

2:37 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Ok, ok, Justine got me. There *is* a horizon from her roof. A really nice one, too.

Oh Bowes, Bowes, Bowes. *sigh* You must leave the island of irreality and step foot on the earth's soil at some point in the near future.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Brother Christopher!

I'm afraid that if I did, I too might sit around crying in museums.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please, Mr Barzak, reality exists in many forms in the city as well as the country. It just doesn't exist ANYWHERE in the US of A. Come to Australia if you want pure reality.


9:54 AM  
Blogger Celia said...

Planned? Planned? No one planned any of the east coast cities*. We laugh at your notions of grids.

*at least not *all* of a city**. A chunk here and there maybe, but sooner or later the arrow straight road had to dodge around old Man Henderson's cow pasture.

**Other than DC, which doesn't count because while it was planned, it was planned to confuse invaders. And a darn good job it does too. Stay on the mall, silly tourists!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Tut tut, Dr. Larbelestier, I said earth's soil, not America's. Precise reading now, precise reading. ;-)

A good bit of crying would do you good, Brother Bowes.
And farmer Henderson's *still* pissed off about that road because it didn't actually go around it, but through it instead. ;-)

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In that case you must be very good for me indeed, Brother Christopher.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Hehe, I seem to have that affect on people.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You USians always mean the USA whenever you say anything like that. I know what you mean better than you do. You unknowing yankee imperialist you.


7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. Barbara Kingsolver has an essay titled "The Good Farmer" in the July/ August Utne Reader (it was originally published in The Essential Agrarian Reader) where she talks about the importance of farming. One of my favorite quotes comes when she's responding to the "small, acutely urban clique that decides in this country what will be called worthy literature" calling her more rural work (books where "humans are forced to own up to our dependence on the land") "quaintly irrelevant":

"But if I had not been raised such a polite Southern girl, I'd offer these critics a blunt proposition: I'll go a week without attending a movie or a concert, you go a week without eating food, and at the end of it we'll sit down togeether and renegotiate 'quaintly irrelevant'."

It's a great essay. It made me feel incredibly guitly for not having a working garden this year. It made me miss Indiana, too.

-- Heather Shaw

3:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home