First Responders, 9/11

Self was in New York just this past fall.

For some reason, she remembered an article she read in Salon, only days after 9/11. It was a first-person piece written by a student at Juilliard who, as soon as he got the news, grabbed his violin and headed downtown.

The Armory was where the injured were taken, and that’s where the music student decided to play. He played, Salon said, “the concert of his life.”

He played until his fingers bled. The weary and bedraggled survivors, the firemen, everyone listening at the Armory were in tears.

When he could no longer play, another student came and took his place.

So, in New York, this past fall, after a very determined internet search, self found the identity of the young man: William Harvey.

Did you know that self wrote her very own 9/11 story? It was very short. LitnImage published it. It was called “Wavering.”

LitnImage no longer exists. The link she posted a while back came back “broken.”

In her story, a businessman was late getting to work because his wife found out he was having an office affair and they fought.

In self’s story, the businessman arrives too late. His lover is up there in one of the towers, and he can’t get to her. And something in him dies, too. Even though he stays married. And all the wife reaps is bitterness.

Recently, Congress passed a law according medical care to the first responders of 9/11. She thinks she heard a figure like, roughly 4,000 first responders developed cancer. (If you add that figure to the number who were killed in the collapse of the towers, the number of 9/11 victims actually doubles and becomes close to 10,000)

On TV a few days ago, on a show about a medium, a wife tells the story of how her husband, a fireman, went straight to the World Trade Center and stayed there for days. When the TV show began, self was expecting to hear that the woman’s husband died during the collapse. But no. It turns out he lived for several years after, but he got cancer.

And self wondered: why did it take 14 years for Congress to pass a bill according these men medical care?

Self wrote another 9/11 piece called “The Walker.” Would you believe, the Yale Review wrote her about it? It was rejected, but just barely. She still has the story in her files. She hasn’t sent it out since.

Roughly, it’s about an insomniac who roams his neighborhood at 3 a.m., whose Filipino neighbor has a counter on his front lawn, counting the days after 9/11: Day 1, Day 2, and so forth.

So the man roams his neighborhood and is struck by the fact that the counter has been put away. It was the day after Osama bin Laden was killed.

When 9/11 happened, self was a visiting instructor at Santa Clara. When she asked the students to write about 9/11, they said “It’s such a cliché.” And six of those students went to the Department Chair and complained about her.

Seriously?

Why wouldn’t you write about 9/11? Especially since it just happened. Self was barely hanging on, it felt like such a travesty to tell the students to do craft-y exercises like construct/de-construct or do meta-fiction.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry Week 31 Photo Challenge: TIME

Boy does self love Sylvain Landry’s Photo Challenge.

She picks just one photo (as opposed to the three she loads for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week’s theme is TIME.

And here’s a picture from a coffee shop on New York City’s Upper West Side, Oct. 2015. She had her notebook open. She carries a notebook with her everywhere so she can jot down random musings as she goes through her day.

No matter how busy she is, she always manages to take down notes on what she observes around her:

DSCN1346

New York City, Upper West Side Coffee Shop, October 2015

Self would describe this process as “layering” — enriching present experience by forcing her to observe details of what’s around her, no matter how mundane. It’s a way of forcing herself to slow down, to savor the moment.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

DSCN2286

The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

DSCN2292

On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

DSCN2290

Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Vibrant: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 5

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is VIBRANT.

And oh, how self loves any Photo Challenge that has to do with color.

DSCN2418

How green is the grass after much rain!

DSCN2415

This vibrant sunflower blooms year-round in front of the Mendocino Art Center Gallery.

DSCN2321

Art on New York City’s High Line: Self walked it on a gloomy December day; few people about. Colors really popped.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Alphabet 3: 2016 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge # 3

London is one of self’s faaaavorite cities in the entire world!

DSCN9980

London cab: Summer 2015

And Kepler’s Books is one of her favorite bookstores in the entire world!

DSCN9949

Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park: Still Around, After 30+ Years! Self has given a couple of readings in Kepler’s over the years.

And this man was very resourceful, she thinks dear blog readers will agree! She spotted him at the 53rd & Lexington Subway Station, New York City:

DSCN8995

53rd & Lexington, Just outside the subway station, New York City, March 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Alphabet 2: 2016 WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge # 3

This week, let the alphabet be your inspiration: find a string of letters.

The Daily Post

Self was inspired by this WordPress blog today:  Love in the Spaces

Below, more from self’s archive of recent pictures.

DSCN2390

Presentation on Manilatown, yesterday at the Listening to the Silence conference at Stanford University

DSCN2338

Graffiti, New York’s Chelsea district

Finally, blurred photo (Self was on Sixth Avenue). Last December was her first winter in New York City in forever.

DSCN2270

Wintry in Manhattan: The partially obscured sign says RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Music: Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge Week 28

The Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge this week is MUSIC.

Here’s a picture of the main stage of New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Took my first tour ever, December 2015. We were only allowed to take pictures when the musicians weren’t rehearsing.

Dearest Mum played a concert here after she won The New York Times International Piano Competition, when she was 14:

DSCN2252

The Main Stage of Carnegie Hall, in between rehearsals: December 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Weight(less): 2nd WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge of 2016

Self is very intrigued by this week’s WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge: WEIGHTLESS.

“Show us the effects of gravity in your photo this week.”

Funny, she actually thought the theme meant the opposite: to show us the things that exist in defiance of gravity.

Anyhoo, here’s a building in New York’s Soho district. Self has been fascinated by buildings for a long, long time. The small black cube within the larger edifice — all self can think of when she looks at this picture is: JENGA!

DSCN2130

Weightless 1: New York skyscraper, Soho

And here’s a longer view of the same subject, showing how it fits in with the surrounding cityscape:

DSCN2109

A longer view of Weightless 1

The third picture is a detail of the facade of the Cathedral in the beautiful Italian town of Siena, where the Palio horse races are held every year. Siena is divided into 17 districts, each represented by a different animal. Animal effigies like this lion (in mid-roar: fabulous!) are carved into the facade of the Cathedral. Since this lion is made of stone, the fact that it’s jutting out of the Cathedral wall like that is, in self’s humble opinion, awesome:

DSCN1850

Weightless 2: The Cathedral of Siena. The facade features carvings of animals representing each of the districts that make up the city. The districts compete against each other every summer, in the Palio horse races.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Circle 2: 1st 2016 WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CIRCLE.

Here are a few circles self encountered in the latter half of Year 2015:

Thanks to Niece Irene L, who invited self to come along on a trip to Florence in early November!

DSCN1863

The Cathedral at Siena: November 2015

Self had a wisdom tooth pulled in October; a friend made her this malted milk drink for after:

DSCN1321

When self had a wisdom tooth pulled in October, she couldn’t have solid food for a day. A friend made this malted milk drink for her.

Self collects buttons; she pins them on her jackets and blazers. Here’s one she bought in the new Whitney Museum on Gansevoort Street, Chelsea, New York City:

DSCN1242

Button Humor!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Circle: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Daily Post’s first Photo Challenge of 2016 is CIRCLE.

The New Year is “a time of endings and beginnings.” Either “go literal, and look for things around you with perfectly round shapes . . . ” or go the metaphorical route (circle of life, etc)

Self decided, for this post, to go literal:

These are pictures she took in New York City, mid-December 2015:

DSCN2239

Columbus Circle (Upper West Side), New York City: December 2015

DSCN2234

Horse-Drawn Carriages abound in New York’s Central Park. Look at those big wheels!

DSCN2178

Near Grand Central Station, New York, December 2015

Hard to believe it’s already 2016!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,384 other followers