Months of feeling like the subway air will soak forever into my lungs have vanquished at last into the occasional sweet shiver. Oh, long sleeves, darker air, and sweaters---welcome. Come in and have a scone.
Season's change reminds us we've been here more than a year, and I halt daily when I think of last year, because a year ago was not the year I was picking apples in our garden and making avalanching amounts of apple crumble. Last year I was here.
Who was that girl with no short-sleeved clothes, and whose heart clenched whenever she had to find her way to the subway a year ago? This city is my place now. I can walk on cobbles in heels, and find a new dry cleaners without googlemaps. Pigeons? Still working on that . . .
I know there are posts that need to come about fjords, about a summer that is developing like the world's slowest photo. But for now?
Here are unphotographed instants of right now:
Weekend ice cream stops. Seriously, New York, you rock at ice cream. My current fave flave is goat's milk salted caramel. Seriously? Yum.
Watching the building across the street. It was a school, and one day I came home to falling blinds and emptiness. Today it's a grid of beams and brick and dim construction lights. At night, it would be creepy if you couldn't see straight through to the building beyond, if it was not open on all 9 stories to air and wind. Yesterday a contraption that looked like a hundred-foot tall, red Daddy Long-Leg (with only one leg) hooked up and over the building, where it spewed and spewed concrete from the roof down. I swear it was about to just chomp down on that poor roof.
On the subway yesterday, a man sat down with a Betty Boop bag over his shoulder across from me while his wife stood. The bag didn't have any images of Betty, just her name in cursive stripes. That was odd enough, and when a puppy pushed his head out, there was nothing to be done but smile.
Ten squares of sidewalk on Broadway were sprinkled with hundreds of thin strips of paper today---why, I don't know.
As I ran down the subway steps today, pushing against the puff of hot air from below, someone said they liked my skirt. I never saw them.
The knit web of movement on the street intrigues me---the mind changers who stand at the top of the subway steps clogging traffic, the girl walking back up the steps to finish her call before she loses reception underground, the station attendant yelling through the wonk microphone at a lost tourist, the dog owner who doesn't keep a short leash and nearly trips a crowd, the blonde boy who stops in the puddle of air conditioner drip to splash.
I love the small place we live in now despite the even smaller amount of closet space. You'd laugh if you saw the weekly calisthenics I do lifting the vacuum over the shoe rack without ripping the coats.
Yesterday's weather was mad. Walk came home so soaked that when I looked across the room at him, I didn't believe he was wet at all he was so uniformly covered. We sloshed in wellies to my birthday (shh) dinner, but because of all the scaffolding in the nabe, we barely needed the brellies.
Our house is fluttering in cards---anniversary and birthday and Scholastic LiveWell Benefits reminders. If you've sent one, thank you. Words on paper are good.
I am waiting for fall's official arrival to watch You've Got Mail, but until then, I am buying McIntosh apples by the bag, and letting that wind blow through me, straight through.
Happy ALMOST autumn! It is the most, most wonderful time of the year here.
ps. Overheard in Brooklyn Bridge Park this weekend:
Tourist husband: How many bodies you think wash up here every year?
Tourist wife, in all seriousness: Prolly a lot.