I spent last weekend in New York for three good reasons: 1. To visit my friend Lynn, 2. To take a writing class, and 3. To buy a typewriter...
This is my new-to-me Royal, from the late 50's, here appearing with its restorer, the famous Paul Schweitzer of Gramercy Typewriters, a New York institution since 1932. I knew right when I walked in that this was "the one." (More about this in a future post.)
One of the highlights of the weekend was finally getting to visit with my photo friend Aleya Lehmann Bench. After meeting up with Lynn and dropping our stuff off at our Airbnb, we headed out to Brooklyn. Seeing Aleya's new work in person at her Industry City studio was such a thrill. She sews these beautiful costumes and photographs them in motion. I was fascinated by the fancy pleating, which she commissioned through one of New York's renowned pleat makers. I had no idea there even was such as a thing!
After that inspiring outing to Brooklyn, it was back to the Airbnb. This was the view from our balcony. I love that we could open the door and walk out to the city sights and sounds and smells.
At night it was even more magical. It's funny how soothing the sounds of the city are from 25 floors up, even the car horns and different-toned beeps of random trucks backing up. Everything echoes and feels woven in layers, and somehow seems there and not there at the same time. I felt like I was standing in the middle of some Brian Eno soundwork.
In the morning, Lynn visited with her son and daughter-in-law who just had a baby (congrats, Ryan & Emily!) and I headed off to my writing class near Union Square. Ohhh it was so fun to sit at a school desk again. I loved every minute of it! Gotham Writers' Workshops has lots of online classes in all sorts of genres, but also these one-day intensive introductions in Manhattan. I'm so glad it worked out that I could be in the city for this one. We had a great instructor and a class of students who were really engaged. No pretension or useless, thoughtless critiques, just people who wanted to be there to learn. I could not have asked for a better first experience in a writers' workshop. Thanks, Janet Flora & Gotham!
I was the last to leave the classroom that day. Before shutting off the lights I couldn't help but stop to photograph what was left on the chalkboard. Kinda gave me goosebumps and made me chuckle at the same time.
After my class I met Lynn under the clock at Grand Central. I know New Yorkers don't think twice about this, but I haven't met anyone under that clock in years and years, so it was so exciting. Especially lugging my typewriter and having just been to a writing class... I felt like I was part of the ongoing creative history of the city. New York!
And then there was this. I thought the juxtaposition of our flag with the "If you see something, say something" sign (which used to innocuously announce train schedules and holiday greetings) was particularly depressing. What's going on, America?!
On our way to track 109 to catch the train out of the city, Lynn and I stopped for drinks and appetizers at the Oyster Bar. I have never been there! My Mom and Dad used to go when they worked in New York in the early sixties, and Lynn remembers going there with her father, who used to be an NBC producer.
Sunday, with the exception of dinner at McKinney & Doyle in Pawling, was spent in my pajamas, scribbling in my journal, reading, and helping Lynn excavate her parents' old patio furniture (now hers) out of the garage to set it up for the upcoming summer days. It made me happy to see Lynn so happy.
The next morning: an easy train ride, a baguette from Zaro's, and plenty of available seats on my standby flight back to Columbus. It felt like a an entire week happened in three days. Perfect.