2 miles in Greenpoint (Change is Coming)

Encroaching development along Greenpoint’s northern waterfront has put me in a wistful mood. From the end of my block to the tip of Manhattan Avenue, plans are afoot (and almost approved) for glass towers that will fill the streets with thousands of cars and people, change the scale of the neighborhood, and cut long-time residents of this area off from the remarkable views of Manhattan that are currently ┬ávisible above buildings and along the water. A park will be built and another expanded, but just as I never wish to visit the sculpted lawns alongside the towers in Williamsburg, I can’t imagine wanting to find my plot of grass in the shadow of the new towers, this “Greenpoint Landing.” There is much to say about the folly of this development, from the inaccurate records that the approval process was built upon to the lack of infrastructure development planned to accompany this major change. In the neighborhood, people are fighting and organizing and I wish them the best of luck. I’m not hopeful anything can stop this work, however, and so, I began running again today along the streets that will soon be changed for good, the streets that filled me with such a sense of joy when I first arrived here.

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Hiatus

One day this spring, my flickering computer screen finally gave out and I was without a laptop for the first time in many years. Of all the things I missed in the months it took me to purchase a new machine, writing periodic descriptions of walks, explorations, and small, discrete plants ranked high among them. And in the absence of a forum or an archive, I found myself taking fewer pictures, not willing to let them pile up without a home. So, the summer of 2013–muggy at times, cool at others, lovely, music-filled–exists only in my memory.

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In August, I went to Cape Cod and walked along the ocean in the morning. I saw the fog and the land and sea all the same color. I swam as much as I possibly could in cold salty water, and on the beach, I watched the bulk of seal pairs swim by and surface. It was beautiful, achingly so, and I felt lucky to have felt the sun warm the rocks beneath my feet.

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I documented some of those moments, but now I’m back in New York. My fire escape, my trees, the Empire State Building, these old friends surround me, and I have some urge to sit with my thoughts, to think about what I can capture and what is only fit to be considered.

Miles in Snow

greenpoint-snow

I walked along the west side of Greenpoint yesterday afternoon in the fading sun and the colors thrown up by the snow against the bluest sky filled me with a kind of enduring joy.

Light Bulb Awnings: Bushwick & Bed Stuy

Rodriguez

Rodriguez Grocery Store
560 Evergreen Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221

Bracero Liquor

Bracero Liquors Inc.
41 Bleecker Street
Brooklyn, NY 11221

Stop 1 Food Market

Stop 1 Grocery Store
463 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Miles in Sky Meadows (again)

grasses

I spent a week in Virginia over the holidays and made a point to walk every day, either in the large field behind the church or in Sky Meadows. I didn’t have my camera the day that everything was encased with ice–shards falling all around us–and the trees were glittering and creaking. But it’s enough to remember the sights and sounds, and to be relieved that even these grasses made it through such an ordeal.

Back in New York, the winter has not been so picturesque, but, yes, there are lights and the ocean remains close, and, as ever, I hear the sounds of the little resilient birds who are staying put.

trees and grasses

Miles in Sunset Park

planetrees

Winter trees are my favorite, especially these London Planes with their white bark all exposed. On this day, the view of Manhattan was obstructed, the whole city crowned with fog. The wind kept us all cold and alert–perimeters became shields and the path to the water was like walking into a silent and subdued storm.