Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Active Again

This, once again, is the school of social work across the street from my apartment. But it's got a small new addition you can see on the sidewalk in front: bike racks. Good ones.

I don't remember when I first noticed them. It was some night coming home this week. Probably either Tuesday, right after a successful play reading and hanging out with friends at Rodeo Bar with live music for Mardi Gras, Wednesday, helping one kid with his monologue from Romeo and Juliet, another with turning fractions into decimals and back, and a third with vector math in physics, or Friday, after an art gallery opening deep in the "post industrial" Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, coming in time to meet my newest couchsurfer after his flight from Dallas. It wasn't Thursday because after some really good chocolate with one friend and a hands on guitar rig lesson from another, I ended up in a bar with hard cider having a loud four-way argument about the virtues and pitfalls of playing hard to get that lasted late enough that I ended up crashing on my buddy's couch. I had to be in the same neighborhood at 10:30 the next morning for an Alexander Technique lesson anyway.

The point is, if I got a bike (and a couple good locks), I'd now have a convenient place to park it that wouldn't involve carrying the thing upstairs.

When I first told people here that I wanted to get a bike, the general response was "nice knowing you." But biking here has improved since then. There are more bike lanes and in a few months the city will actually start a full-on bike share program. Nobody here wears helmets, so I'll stand out a bit since I refuse to ride without one (except the one time in Laos where I was riding a couple days to teach an English class - I really didn't have an option).

I've been hosting a lot of couchsurfers recently, and I've had one recently ask me about playing basketball. I haven't changed my profile in so long, it still says I play that here. I haven't touched a basketball in a very, very long time. Frankly, living in Harlem, I don't think I'd last long playing against some of the middle-school kids I see out on the courts here.

But if I could find another place where I wouldn't get laughed off the court, I'm thinking I could get a ball, a pair of shoes for the job, and see how much I remember. That and a bike.

It's funny, a few weeks ago, I was concentrating mostly on what I could spend money on to enhance my home. Rugs, a new laptop, something to let me watch other things on my TV. Now I'm starting to think it might be time to spend money on things that will get me to be a little more active instead.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Here's what I've been getting ready for in the last few weeks:

State of Play Productions presents a reading of 
North to Maine: A Journey on the Appalachian Trail 

Tuesday, Feb 21st 2012 @ 7:30pm Shetler Studios – Shetler 1 – 244 W 54th Str (btwn Broadway & 8th Ave)

I'm in it. My part is a good, fun part. As long as you RSVP with me or the company in advance, it will be a free event, and there will be wine served.

See you there!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Midnight Stroll

I don't know why I did it.

The plan involved something vague about being out in a city that had just won a championship that night. The plan hadn't been to walk from Astor Place to the deserted streets by city hall alone as some clock tower tolled out midnight.  I guess I'll remember this as the night the Giants won the Superbowl and I walked alone across the Brooklyn Bridge.

It was beautiful walk. I think I saw six people on the bridge the entire time I was on it. According to the big clock on the watchtower building, I stopped in the middle for the view at 12:17am. It also said it was 32 degrees out, F. It felt warmer.

There's a place a little on the Brooklyn side, where the walkway has corrugated aluminum siding. It sort of blocks out some of the ambient light. And if you sit down, and look up, you can sort of see stars. There aren't many places you can do that in this town.

I saw things tonight. I saw a giant glass door of a club, shattered into a million pieces, while some guy stood with his friends outside saying something about how this is what happens if you mess with "the Tree." I saw a car drive on the Brooklyn Bridge with a plastic bumper dragging on the ground by the corner. It's funny while you see it driving. It's less funny later when you walk by the car pulled over and a family standing around the car looking hopeless.

It felt good walking along the bridge. For once, I really felt like I was doing something. I miss that feeling.