13 Thoughts on the City
by YVONNE GEORGINA PUIG
Cab rides are considered a luxury, but the subway is a much more comfortable ride. These cabs, stop and go, stop and go, make me green.
I watched a man drop a 100 dollar bill on the 6 train without realizing. Everyone sat there for a moment and no one moved. We just stared at the money. Finally I picked it up and looked around for the man but I thought he'd left the train. I was paralyzed by what to do with this money. Could I really pocket it right there in front of everyone? I almost felt we should make change and divide it. Then the guy in a skullcap across from me pointed heroically across the train and said, "He's there!" And the money was returned.
New Yorkers are friendly and the old men who work at diners and call you "darling" and "sweetheart" manage to be endearing and not at all pervy.
I like ordering green beans from the place on 70th and 3rd. I tell the guy, "green beans please," and he nods and says, "string beans," and i say, "yes green beans," and he says, "string beans okay."
Four a.m. is too late an hour for any bar to stay open. Who stays out this late and isn't depressed in the morning?
New Yorkers are open with their humanity. I suppose because they have no other choice. Human moments and conversations are everywhere. One doesn't have the opportunity to study faces in Los Angeles, except in traffic. Vulnerable moments seen in silent profile till the light changes. Here there's this fantastic sense of openness. This is my face, this is it what says, this is me.
It's important to resist the urge to get nostalgic or start projecting here. The beauty of these faces is in their nakedness.
The Neue Gallerie is a wonderful place to sketch. German Expressionism is rich with shapely feathered hats and sunken male cheekbones.
The security guard at the Conde Nast building, upon noticing me pin the visitor's name tag to my shirt, touched my arm and said, "You don't wear that here. Not in this building."
The other day in the park an old man pushed an old woman in a wheelchair to the bench beside me. He wheeled her in front of him and sat down and read a book. She could hardly hold up her head and a handkerchief was tucked beneath her chin to collect drool. The entire time he read, an hour, he held her hand. I was reading "Happy Days" by Beckett. In the play, an old woman putters through her endless bag full of nonsense, blabbering to her indifferent and unlistening husband in order to stay alive. I believe the old man in the park, not Beckett.
The golden velvet curtain at the Met is a work of art. It's perfect, deep swoosh is the embodiment of anticipation in sound.
All I do walking through the Upper East Side is look into people's fancy windows and wonder, did Lily Bart live here? Did Lily Bart live there?
I didn't leave Alex's apartment all day yesterday because it was rainy and cold and I wanted to rest. It didn't go well though. I went mad with thoughts of all the things I wasn't doing.
"Angel's Harp" - Dangermouse and Sparklehorse ft. Black Francis (mp3)
"Revenge" - Dangermouse and Sparklehorse ft. Wayne Coyne (mp3)
"The Man Who Played God" - Dangermouse and Sparklehorse ft. Nina Persson (mp3)