coney island of the mind

Welcome to the Big City.

"The true New Yorker secretly believes that anyone living anywhere else has got to be, in some sense, kidding."
-John Updike

"But it's the truth even if it didn't happen."
-Ken Kesey

"I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
-George Bernard Shaw


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wish i didn't miss you
letter to myself
bold as love
you're excused
spring in harlem
zack & my purse
the old place
leap and the net will appear


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Friday, December 20, 2002
Sex is fun. The zoo is fun. Trampolines? FUN!

Christmas shopping?

Yeeeeeah, not so much fun.

Disagree? Love to Christmas shop? I mean, do you looooooooove to Christmas shop?

If you do, I invite you to into Susan's World of Christmas Shopping Delight. Here are the rules:

1. You must do your shopping in Manhattan, where there are no malls and the stores are spread out alllll over the city.

2. You will not have use of a car - only subways, buses, taxis and your feet.

3. I will give you no ideas of what to get anyone, as I have none.

4. You must first go to Brooklyn and spend 4 hours teaching idiots about sentence structure, thinking all the while that you have not yet bought one freaking Christmas gift and you are wasting valuable shopping time trying to explain a sentence fragment to a 20-year-old whose paper was due two weeks and who really just wants you to edit the fucking thing for him so he can go home and take a nap.

5. Upon completion of your teaching duties, your first stop will be the Brooklyn Macy's at 6pm on a One-Day-Sale Day less than a week before Christmas.

6. It will be packed full of simply the most delightful and considerate people you've ever had the pleasure of being clustered 3-deep around a jewelry counter with!

7. Your second stop will be the pottery-painting place allllll the way over the bridge and across town in the Village, where you will arrive 30 minutes before closing on the absolute last day you can paint and still get your ornament baked in time to give it on Christmas. You will then have to paint an ornament for your one-year-old godson to treasure for the rest of his freaking life before they close and with the entire staff watching you to see if they're getting out on time. And you suck at painting under the very best of circumstances.

8. When you are finally done (and have kept the staff 15 minutes beyond closing, and they have to raise the metal gate up from the front of the store to let you out - and you know they just have to do it REALLY LOUDLY), you will hop on the M14 bus, packed with people in just as good a mood as you are.

9. You'll then go over to the Union Square gift market on Broadway, back over to Urban Outfitters on 6th, then up to Bed Bath and Beyond. And you'll, you know, walk there.

10. When you're done, you'll have bought all your presents for your co-workers. And, like, no one else.

11. You'll be doing all this on an empty stomach.

12. After 9pm.

13. On the first day of your period.

14. On about 4 hours sleep.

In the last 5 days.

Rikki is taking me to the Six Flags Outlet Mall or some such insanity on Sunday. She promises it will be, like, fun.

I'm gonna have to go ahead and get back to you on that.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002
where they used to be

Tuesday, December 17, 2002
I heart the subway

Thank the LAWD, no transit strike! I didn't even start to believe it was possible until Sunday, when it was getting so close and the union was insisting they'd do it in spite of the huge court-imposed fines that would be leveled on each union member (something like $25,000 for each day of the walkout - which each individual member would owe the city). Talks were still going on, nothing was settled and all the news stations were talking about shuttle buses and restrictions on cars going into and out of the city and two way streets switching to one-ways to accommodate the huge amount of traffic and how to bundle up to walk such long distances in the cold - the Red Cross was even setting up stations with hot soup and warming blankets throughout the city.

I started to panic when Channel 2 put on the counter that was ticking away the seconds until Sunday's midnight deadline as though it was New Year's Eve. Had the strike gone, I would have had to walk 30 blocks to the nearest shuttle bus to get to work, and then sat on the bus for who knows how long as it crawled through the packed streets with thousand of other shuttle buses and cars, all of them trying to avoid the roller bladers and bicyclists and scooter...uh...scooterists?

Yeah, see, that would have been just a little too much fucking chaos on the streets and way too reminiscent of some other recent chaos we all walked through. I think that was the real source of my panic. I don't want to live through any day even vaguely resembling that one ever again.

But it didn't happen. And that picture above is a lot prettier now that it was 2 weeks ago.

God bless the New York subway system.




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