Domesticated turkey’s can’t fly, which isat complete odds with my family’s celebration of Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is the holiday most likely to see my family hitting the road or taking to the skies
to gather together in our homeland, St. Louie, MO.
Sadly for us, American Airlines has decimated its flight
schedule to/from St. Louis, but we persevere.Herewith, the travel dossier of my family for this year’s Gateway
crossed for clear skies.Cause I’m
connecting through O’Hare!!!!
Jeanne-Claude, wife and artistic partner of better-known art-wrapper Christo, died this week at 74. Jeanne-Claude and Christo were known for their temporary art projects in which they used materials on a monumental scale to change our perception of things, to make us think and (more often than not) to lead us to a smile. The Gates was their last substantial project, located in Central Park in 2005 (pic is me and my friend Steve at The Gates).
In describing their work and Jeanne-Claude's view of it, the Times obit wrote:
... all of their projects ... were intended to be temporary.
Whether executed in oil drum or brightly colored fabric, the art of Jeanne-Claude
and her husband ... expressed “the quality of love
and tenderness that we human beings have for what does not last.”
This resonated with me because recently I have been reflecting on the concept of impermanence. Burning Man, where I've gone for five of the past ten years, is a recognition of and embrace of impermanence. An entire city appears, and then disappears, in seven days. The figurative heart of that city -- The Man -- is burned to ashes as the entire community watches. A lavish wooden temple is covered with thousands of participant messages of hopes, dreams and fears, and then burned and released into the atmosphere.
This year I also began a meditation practice. I am beginning to understand the Buddha's thoughts on impermanence. He recognized that all things are impermanent, and that by embracing this knowledge we can better deal with the constant change (and constant loss) in our lives that so often cause us suffering.
Life is short and fleeting. If we are not afraid to lose things -- ultimately, we lose everything -- we have a better chance of living in the moment. Christo and Jeanne-Claude got it.
I read an article in the Times this week reporting that
several major NYC apartment buildings are about to ban smoking… IN PEOPLE’S OWN UNITS.Kind of shocking, and also kind of
cool.The evidence is clear that
second-hand smoke causes cancer.And
smoke definitely wafts through apartment hallways.I just love that smoking ban policies keep getting stronger
… saving lives in the process.
All of which reminds me of the bad old days when passengers
could smoke in airplanes.How
insane does that seem today?!?People lighting up cigarettes in a pressurized aluminum container. I can remember the sinking feeling of
realizing that the person sitting next to me was about to light up.THAT was a definition of living
hell.Then they banished smokers
to the back of the plane, so you only had to gag your way through a cancer
cloud to get to the bathroom.While praying (pre-flight) that you wouldn’t be seated in the last row
of non-smoking section either.
Happily those days are a distant memory.From a certain perspective, we live in
a blissful moment for flying:No
smoking and no cell phones.How
long will it last?
Yep, I baked a pie.And here’s the evidence.Underneath that shiny butter and almond-flour crust lies a blend of apples,
cranberries and ginger.The pie was a stunner in the looks department. Not bad on first eating. And awesome after a couple days sitting in the fridge.
Can you tell how proud I am of myself?In these recessionary times,
we must focus on life’s little pleasures to get through the day.Next up? Punkin', of course.
The Empire Diner is a New York dining legend.For 35 years it has occupied one of the
city’s most perfect corners (22nd and 10th) while
preserving its most iconic railcar diner.Alas, for most of those years it has also served some of the city’s
worst food and possibly its very worst service.Appallingly rude, 24 hours a day.It’s a dining
I’ve been closely following the rumblings that the Empire’s lease
is about to change hands.Today I
was delighted to read that the owners of Union Square’s Coffee Shop are taking
over the Empire.Chelsea
Today has the story.Photo credit here.
Coffee Shop has itself delivered questionable service over
the years -- at least to the less than hip and lovely … not me, of course. But
nothing compared to the rudeness of the Empire staff.I’m happy to see the change of hands, and even happier to
know that the good ol’ diner is not becoming the first Capital One branch-in-a-railcar.
My seasonal preference, in order:Summer, Fall, Spring Winter.
My fantasy seasonal recalculation:Summer (5 months), Fall (3 months), Spring (3 months),
Winter (1 month).
While I wait for global warming to turn my fantasies into
reality (or move to South Carolina), I will continue to enjoy living in a place
with four fully distinct seasons.It’s
one of the things I missed most during my years in San Francisco.
I revel in the change of seasons: Different wardrobes … the
move from indoors to out and back again … the changing light … the shifting
moods.Nothing captures the exhilaration
of seasonal change more than autumn leaves.This weekend I headed up the Hudson River Valley to Cold
Spring, a charming New York town that is a launch point for a breathtaking hike.I made the trip with my friends Bob,
David and Jeff.
Ahhh, the thrill of fall.Ooooh, the
thrill of it all.
I graduated from Clayton High School 30 (gasp) years ago. These were some of my friends back then, and they remain so today. We had a fantastic reunion. Among the highlights was attending the CHS homecoming game, played here on Gay Field. Yes, you read it right, Gay Field. Perhaps that has something to do with our losing every game played there during the four years of my high school youth. Go Greyhounds!!!!
Oh, and just because I'm a good sport, here I can be seen picking up my date for the homecoming prom, circa 1977. My date is Marianne, who was looking mighty fine in '77 and even better in the jean jacket, above. Please note that in the above shot she is standing next to her husband. He took her to the prom the following year, and fared appreciably better with her than I did.