New York City Senses

southern view from central parkThe photos in this post are not related to the text… just some photos I’ve been taking this week randomly.

I’ve been living in NYC long enough now that I’m starting to take my surroundings for granted. I get annoyed and flustered at the idiocy of others constantly surrounding me and the weather has been crap. Even summertime heat that I was so longing for during the treacherous winter months has worn me out (being completely drenched in sweat before my work day even begins is not great). This all makes me pretty sad. I love this city. I do, I really do. I love it for the exact reasons that are wearing me down. I love the people, the noise, the dirt, the inconvenience of it all. I wanted to do something to make me focus less on my discomfort and more on my surroundings so I started sitting down every chance I get to write about my what I see, smell, and hear. Every now and then my emotions find their way into these exercises too. 

8.10 somewhere around 6:30pm.

You know what’s dirtier than dirt? The NYC subway. The tracks and the space occupying between must be home to Gajillions of generations of happy germs. The seats on the train have been shit on, puked on, and although I try not to think about it while I sit (especially with shorts), I can’t help but feel the unrelenting mutated germs on my bare thighs – debating whether I should get up or just accept the fact that I am forever germ un-free living here.

brooklyn town homesPark Slope, Brooklyn

8.28 8:51am 

Sounds from my window:

  • a passing car in the distance.
  • a low roaring, perhaps a helicopter coming towards… the roaring getting progressively louder — waning in and out.
  • the hum of an AC unit across the street
  • the groan of a passing truck
  • another passing vehicle — less groan-ey
  • the squeak of breaks
  • An airplane
  • the engine of a bus gaining speed and slowing down
  • light chatter
  • a tiny bark
  • boxes being dropped on one another
  • grocery cart wheeling and jamming on the concrete sidewalk, rattling as it moves
  • more passing cars
  • a break where only the cart is heard
  • brief silence
  • ‘beep’ a car alarm being turned on (or off?)
  • more boxes
  • more passing cars
  • a child’s whining and crying echoes into my living room
  • a snapping twig
  • the wheels of the carts are relentless, rattling in the background; always.
  • a bird chirp; rare
  • emergency sirens whaling in the distance

View from Central ParkView from Central Park

8.29 1pm-ish

There’s a light cool breeze. Fall is coming. It feels great after the subway sweat car. Tourists are positioning their kids along the edge of the fountain – surely something they’ll look back at in awe. Bryant Park is quite lovely, after all. The sky looks exquisite today. Light blue with bouts of white fluffy clouds spread sporadically. Short and sweater guy carrying a guitar case on his back, rocking forest green ankle socks. He has to be sweating bullets, but he looks cool as a cucumber. Are cucumbers really that cool? Looks like some sort of juggling workshop. Mostly children participating with the occasional older gentleman (usually sporting a long gray ponytail). Sounds: car engines, buses. Breaks squealing. Children screaming and laughing. A bell rings – resembling that of an old school bell, no idea where that came from. The rolling wheels of giant suitcases hitting the uneven pavement in protest. A lady calling out to her child playfully. Water rushing from the fountain, hitting the pool of water in an endless cycle. Airplane passing overhead causing a sort of roar and echo. Honking in the distance. Children whining and fussing. A drill murmuring somewhere near the library. Park rangers clicking – counting the number of park goers. Shuffling of Nikes against the concrete. Obnoxious laughter from the group of unruly teenagers. Am I getting grumpy or what? The wheels of the giant trash can being pulled sluggishly by the park cleaner. A business man’s phone call directly behind me. calm yet impressively stern. Construction. “Mi amor!” A group of fratty dudes convening to relive last night’s outings. The opening and shutting squeaks of the trash cans. The crumbling of a sandwich wrapper. Flipping and flopping of poorly chosen footwear. Chatter. Chatter. More chatter directly behind me. The projecting voice of a dude trying to spread the gospel “Have you made peace with God…” More relentless breaks hissing while its neighbors’ engines growl and accelerate (uselessly, of course). A tiny dog’s paws clip and clap on the ground’s surface. The ripping of the plastic box filled with sliced pineapples. The fluttering of pigeon’s wings as they take off from the top of the fountainhead. The crunching of old sneakers. Skateboard wheels screeching. More shuffling feet. Crunching of potato chips. Scrapping metal as the old chairs get moved around. A crying toddler. The wind rippling through the leaves of a tree – just barely audible. Heels from a pair of black boots clicking. Policeman’s radio mumbling something. The occasional brown leaf crushed beneath a passing shoe. The light brushing of broom hairs. The jingling of empty bottles being gathered for recycling in the outdoor bar behind me.

brooklyn rooftop

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