Monday, January 3, 2022

New Years Water and Light

Happy New Years from @barelydisfigured by @Guten212

Thanks for this pic of the post plunge ride home by @virgvitz ... onward into the new year.

Out we walk into New Years eve, letting go of the old, the afternoon brightness, mixing with the cold on the way to Barely Disfigured for oysters with Gene and Caroline, a chuckle with Morgan and Jeremy and Stevie.  Still here, but not sure for how long. Its been years they've been our friends.  The place is popping, despite the pandemic.  Other days have been quiet around here, says Jeremy.

Afterwards, everyone drops by for a bonfire in the backyard.

And a bike ride out to the dance party at East River Park.

Bodies are shaking along the waterfront, music, beats, lights, sound, reflecting in the water.

It seems like everyone is here, comrades from the past weeks and years, friends coming out of isolation, those who had been with us among the trees all fall, fighting for the park, for the commons, holding space with tears, courage, hope, disobedience, and stories about what our city could or can be, might be or will be or may not be.

Union friends.

Members of the bike gang.

Austin and Gene were there. 

I thought we'd get here before you said Austin, who'd been at the bonfire.

Cannibals Girl Josie is on hand, telling me about life at Yale. 

Nora is dancing. 

Frank is chatting about her cute husband, who she left at home. 

Taj is greeting friends. 

Others are hugging each other in the East Village night.

Most of us are just glad just to see everyone. 

Elizabeth, who was there at Esperanza, is still fighting for public space. 

 Christine and Peewee and Jack are dancing.

The Teenager is on hand, with old friends from from the pandemic, arriving from parts unknown, one by way or Oregon, another Williamsburg, another last seen in New Orleans, dropping by from here and there, Jesse and Willa out for an evening.

A champagne bottle gone. 

Riding through the city I hear cheer everywhere.

Donald is sitting waiting for his bus home.

We chat for a half hour, telling stories, gossiping, looking at the city.

He still believes in the magic here, the capacity of the city to open space for us, for people to make sure its still alive, and breathing and surprising, and sharing and creating heat.

People are screaming from their windows.

Fireworks fill the sky.

Bikes in motion across the bridge.

Down Bond Street, kids are dancing on a random rooftop, looking at the sky.

The little one and I wrestle, trying not to fall off.

We stay up for hours.

And make out way out on the F train the next morning, looking at the city, looking at Brooklyn the Brooklyn rooftops on our way out to Coney Island.

The party people are out, converging in our sacred space... celebrating the new years.

See you in the water, we say to each other.

Andrew is at Rudy's hanging out with the drunk firemen, followed by Christine and then Virginia.

Friends finally here, we plunge in one more time.

The water hits like a dream, waking us.

More fog than ever.

The birds are dancing in the sky.

I think about the new year rolling through with gratitude and hope and appreciation for all the friends and books and pieces or art and possibility and heartbreak and trepidation and concern and desire and ennui and excitement and optimism and weariness and on and on and on and on. I think I about the pandemic and our movements and wonder what comes next. I really have no idea... onward... keep reaching for the stars, obviously with the feet in the gutter. How else can one do it?

I look at the people who are here, a man in Viking hat and bathrobe, smoking a cigar, a mermaid, other swimmers cheering each other, in a  collective esprit de corps...the sense of fun people bring to the life here... running into the water on the first day of the year.. even if it isn't that cold... it still feels great... crisp ... reminding us of something majestic in us all....especially after the night before of dancing in the rubble of East River Park... outside... enjoying our collective daydream together....

Off to Tatiana's, we stroll watching the people, telling more stories, the birds greeting us on our way for Russian food and conversation, talking about the old trips here, the stories we are writing and hoping for.

Taking the train home, we run into Brennan in Williamsburg, chatting away with the kids, strange friends appearing; the ditchdigger makes a cameo, discombobulated. Who knows?

No one really knows...certainly, I do not, welcoming the new year.

selected beach shots courtesy of  by @virgvitz

The Teenager and Grandpa Al


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