Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Days Back – A Love Affair with NYC – Some Time in August


Scenes from a few days back in the crazy usa.

Some time in early August, we arrived back in the USA.  Healthcare was still intact and summer upon us.
People were going to the beach, fountains, swimming, hiking enjoying the summer.
We cooked outside and wandered, slightly scared, feeling out of sorts.
Day by day, we adjusted back from the clutter of memories jammed in the mind during our two months of travels.
We went to the beach in Ocean Grove, where it felt like everyone in the world was in the water, catching a wave, greeting each other, playing about.
And  we wandered into NYC for roller derby, smiling as we made our way through Holy Brooklyn.
As the day went on, I walked about, first in Bushwick, taking in the graffiti, among the signs on the walls.
A garden was in danger.  Save Bushwich City Farm. The city is not supporting this or any other green spaces. So the people had to.
 There were my people.  First one friend then a city. Dave was waiting on a bus in Bed Stuy.  Jackie was with her granddaughter in Carroll Park.
“Did you hear about Eddie?” she asked.
“He had a hard attack after delivering some pizza.”
I called friends to confirm.  The only Eddie I know was fine.
There was Dan, from the band, in the pharmacy.  Hadn’t seen him in years.
Beth was on her way to Sicily.
See you August, she smiled.
I got on the train to meet Babs, who rode with me to the East River Park.
Lets ride through Tompkins Square Park.
There is Colin.
He’s always in the middle by the Gaia Tree and the benches.
See you guys at the water.
Catherine was riding.
Wendy and Brennan and JC were sitting.
We compared notes and shared stories about the last time we all hung out at the park here.
Like a rhinestone cowboy, we sing.
There’s a man asking for change.
“Peace in the middle east,” I say to him, dropping a few bucks.
“Love peace and chicken grease,” he retorts, upping the absurdist banter.
That could be the name for my midlife memoir.
No it should be, ‘Don’t smack the phat dad,” retorts number one.
Everyone has a summer story.
The activists have stories about fighting the right; the nervous people feel good about Broniecon. 
"Its my happiest week of the year," confessed Kevin, with tears in his eyes.
Everyone needs to find a space to feel safe. 
We sneak to the Rockaways, back to the holy beach.
Mom walks me through the university to the museum.
And we go to a protest.

We love the city. But its so odd and heartbreaking to see so many out there
fending for themselves, no healthcare or a guarantee of support.
Its shocking to see the elders digging for trash in NYC.
It shouldn't be this way, but it is in the USA.
I love being home. But the USA scares me.

Everyone is trying to find a place in the crazy USA.
Its lovely to connect a few of these spaces, back in love with home.
The road teaches us to appreciate what we have and that its great to be home.

An afternoon at the Jersey Shore. 

A lovely first day back in NYC.

An evening on the patio in Princeton. 

A trip to the museum with Mom. 

Scenes from Bronicon. 

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