Friday, 18 November, 2011

Most fun ever! Well… One of the most funs ever! In the top few, or dozen at most. Probably!

New York City is like a big… I was going to say Amusement Park, but it’s got more stuff than an Amusement Park, like quiet places to sit and read and look out over the river, as well as political protests and more Amusement Parkish things like subways and restaurants and art and people. So really it’s like, it’s like, New York City is like a big city or something.

I took the train to Grand Central Station, that being where it goes, and I got out of the train and had coffee and an egg-and-cheese croissant from Zaro’s I think it was, and sent off some small digital texts toward Steve, and then I walked out of Grand Central Station, and around it to the other side, and then a few blocks to Times Square, which is large and full of people and signs, and I sat down in a wobbly red chair and watched things happening for awhile.

(Times Square has free wifi that says it is from the Times Square Alliance or someone, and it is quite quite slow, but it is free; I posted to Twitter from it. Also, if I were going to put up an innocent-looking wifi service that actually kept track of all the interesting traffic that went by, Times Square would be on the list of best places to put it; so good thing there weren’t any of those. Also there did not seem to be any pornography or prostitutes!)

Then someone walked up and put down an enormous (maybe three feet tall) model of a Takeout Chinese Food container, and someone put next to it a sign saying “Stop Eating Garbage / Healthy Choice”. There were a number of young persons with video cameras and clipboards standing a little way from it, looking at it expectantly.

I went over and looked down into the model of a Takeout Chinese Food container, and there was a trash basket inside. I walked back over toward where I’d been sitting, and one of the young persons said “get him!” (not in the threatening sense of “get him!”, but in the more flattering “get him!”), and another young person intercepted me and took me over to a small table where I signed a model-release sort of form, and got my picture taken holding up a piece of paper with my name on it, for later identification in case the video they are making goes viral, and they want to pay the participants lots of money.

So you heard it here first (I imagine), folks! ConAgra, makers of Healthy Choice foods, have hired an advertising firm to make a Reality Video advocating that people eat Takeout Chinese Food as an alternative to garbage! Which seems like a very good idea, assuming you can afford it. And especially if you like Chinese food.

(I also think that having a trash basket inside the model of a Takeout Chinese Food container sort of dilutes the message, in that one might interpret it as saying that the Takeout Chinese Food is garbage. And that would be horribly offensive, and I’m sure nothing that ConAgra would want to be associated with.)

Here is a picture of Times Square, with the model Takeout Chinese Food container, and the sign saying “Stop Eating Garbage”, both terribly overexposed in the middle ’cause of it was sunny:

ConAgra promotion of takeout Chinese food

Then I found some stairs going down into the ground, and at the bottom was a subway station, and I took the 1 or 2 or 3 line downtown to Chambers Street (free association), and got off and went up the “NW Corner” stairs, and walked in a generally westward direction on Chambers Street until I got to the Tribeca Bridge, which seems like quite a large and expensive structure for just crossing one street, and not wanting it to go to waste I used it to cross the street, and then I walked out onto River Terrace which is a street on a very nice Terrace by a River.

There is a little park called Teardrop Park that opens inlandward from River Terrace, and I walked through that, and it was very nice. (One of the little metal things that keeps the gates of the sandbox area closed against the efforts of small and simple creatures like dogs and babies, while allowing larger and more complex creatures like me to easily open them, is broken, and probably any dog or baby could in fact open that gate and escape; someone should fix that. Although there were no dogs or babies there at the time.)

Then I got to Poets House! And it completely r00led in an OMG sort of way. You should all go there! But only a few at a time, so as not to make too much noise or disturb the people who are already there.

At the desk when you first walk in there is this gorgeous “right there behind her eyes” high-school girl (see this ancient theory and the paragraph a bit below for some hints of background on that; yeah, she was quite likely not actually a high-school girl) who will tell you anything you want to know about the place, although if you say that you heard about it on NPR she will assume that you already have a pretty good idea. There is no admittance fee, not even a suggested one, but you can become a member if you want, see the information on any of the stack of “becoming a member” forms they have there.

Upstairs is, first, a little display room, with some glass boxes in which are pieces of paper, many of them with things written on them by hand by Emily Dickinson. I thought that was pretty cool. One of them is a recipe for coconut cake!


Then, beyond that on the same floor, past the niches hiding the rest rooms, there is a little library, one wall all windows, with lots of light coming in, and places to sit by the windows, and books in shelves, and very nice free wifi. I sat there and played with the free wifi, and exchanged some bits with Steve using my cellular telephone, and I randomly took off the shelf a copy of The Poetics of Reverie by Gaston Bachelard (in an English translation; the one with the mostly-black cover), and I read that some, and looked out the window, and sat there drowsily with my eyes closed, and generally basked.

(Interestingly that particular copy, or possibly that particular edition, of that translation of The Poetics of Reverie is missing quite a few pages, in that for quite a bit of the early-middle of the book every other pair of facing pages is blank, so for instance one might have pages 50 and 51, then two blank pages, then pages 54 and 55, then two blank pages, and so on. This is unusual for a book! It did not bother me, because I did not get nearly to that part of the book, having started at the beginning. I do wonder if the Poets House people know.)

Then Steve and I got to the point in our exchange of messages where his said roughly “ok meet you in zucotti in 20 minutes” and mine said roughly “yay!”, and I went off to Occupy things. But that I think deserves its own posting, so I will stop writing this one now and post it, and post that one after.

Also I am really hungry!


3 Responses to “Friday, 18 November, 2011”

  1. Anxiously awaiting your take on Zuccotti Park and how it felt to be an Occupier!



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