Pleasures of speech and sight.

A siren sings impossible glissandos below my window. Tonight, I made the mistake of trying to walk up Broadway from Times Square, returning to my hotel. Simply a mistake.

This morning, I traveled back to Brooklyn for meetings-up with friends old and new. Some degree of chaos ensued, demonstrating to me emphatically that one basically cannot function in a socially acceptable way in this city without a cell phone. It may be time to plunge back into the cellular pool, sometime before my next visit. Fortunately, much of my sitting about in states of anticipation, in various Brooklyn locales, yielded some writing that might be able to go somewhere interesting. And much of that waiting took place in front of the Brooklyn Museum, whose bizarre but charming (nay, even exciting) addition I've managed to cut almost completely out of this photograph:

Once my young poet friend did arrive, we took a turn through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, which are lovely and calming beyond language--a sort of preemptive antidote to Times Square, if you will. The weather was its best self today, sunny and breezy, clouded highly and lightly, warm but never hot, the perfect day for watching koi and ducks in the Japanese gardens, and for finding sprigs of color everywhere. (We even saw a family of orthodox Jews, all four of whose children wore matching lime green and pink outfits.)

After not much time, I was off again, like a shot a sparrow a spirit a shadow, to meet up with even more people, this time at Poets House, before dinner at a SoHo restaurant aptly (so aptly) named Lovely Day. And then to the Whitney for some semi-snarky larking. Some high-quality family dysfunction was on view, along with the Edward Hoppers, on the fifth floor. And I learned this terrific image, "Boy and Moon," from Hopper's early career as an illustrator.

And then, after the Whitney guards kicked us out at 9, it was on to delicious late-night solo bookshopping at the Strand, which I haven't visited since the renovations that gave it a second story (for art and children's books), wider aisles, less apparently topple-prone shelves, a wide and spacious stairway, and an elevator. In other words: what was already terrific is now even more so. And bookshopping while wearing one's favorite dress, so that one can sway and swing through aisles, dreaming that one is creating a nimbus of fabric and fascination? So much more fun than you can imagine, unless you've done it yourself.

All of these things made it so that when I found myself having to creep along in slow crowds of obstructive people, I had all manner of goodness to keep me calm. Mostly, anyway.

source for Boy and Moon: Angel Art House, which does a reproduction of it.