Friday, September 04, 2009

Something Always Takes the Place

These are things I don't think I've blogged about, but that I will miss most about 5E:
  • The ride up the Westside Highway at night. "Highway" is a bit of a misnomer below 59th street - there are traffic lights every five blocks or so. But once you hit the ramp after the 57th street turnoff, then you suddenly hit a stretch of non-stop road. And, more importantly, you hit a blaze of tall buildings - residential, office, all glowering in the dark at you. It's best when you hit that time where there's a mixture of lights on and off, and they loom up at you like some smaller version of Akira or, as Dr. TOH and I have named it, Bladerunner. It's amazing, and if you've never been uptown - and I mean really uptown - then you've never had reason to suspect it exists. But it's beautiful, and such a gorgeous way to see the city. And then you have the buildings on the other side of the Hudson, which suggest the album cover for Original Pirate Material, and you get to see all the nighttime activity on the river - boats chugging here and there, as the city keeps working while you head home.
  • The orange wall. It took Dr. TOH and I four years to paint, but paint we did. Inspired by a glorious rug I bought in Mozambique, we decided to paint the wall buttered yam. Not with buttered yam, but that colour. It's glorious. One of the amazing things about the new place is how lovely the decor is, but I will miss the buttered yam wall. We're taking the paint. Just in case.
  • Watching the large tree in the middle of our courtyard change as the seasons roll around. It turns a very pretty red in late September, early October. Then, the leaves slowly shrivel and fall off. By January, it becomes laden with snow. It is bare in March but suddenly, at some point in early April, I'd notice the first shoots and glimpses of green. Sudden, blossom would emerge, and it would feel hopeful and sunny in the courtyard. I won't have any real indicator in the same way.
What is strange is how quickly we've adapted. I've not once tried to get the 1 home. I've not once directed a taxi uptown (although that makes it sound like I've caught millions of them, which I have not). But it's just not home anymore, and it happens that quickly. But I imagine that when the leaves start changing, I'll get a pang for the courtyard.

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