Friday, May 26, 2006

Some New York Snapshots

Walking back through the park, trees in full blossom, pollen wafting through the air like lazy snowflakes, one can see the result of our having refused the ports to Dubai. Turned away from our waterfronts, they are taking over our hotels. Next to the green Mansardish rootop of the Hampshire House, where I live when i'm here-- oh how long have I hungered to be able to say that, my new calling cards reading Bi-Coastal Free Spirit--, stand in letters stretching to the sky in bright red, two, maybe three stories high, ESSEX
Like that. Standing atop each other. It is now known as the Jumeirah, the same symbol that gilds their airplanes painted gold on its canopy.I don't mean to sound racist, but the truth is The very Arab are different from you and me. When the Shah of Iran fell, his entire entourage or company or whatever the right word is, those thousands who had dined lavishly in tents nights before the Ayatollah took over, moved en masse to Beverly Hills, jacking up real estate prices, and managing to find the only colors in Nature that did not go together. So fuchsia was planted in clashing profusion alongside orange. And, as Rodney Dangerfield's tombstone at Westwoood Memorial reads, "There goes the neighborhood."
On the other hand, or, in the other direction, taxiing through the park on my way to an appointment, feeling sort of sluggish, I noted a group of youngish women doing yoga, so I got out of the cab and joined them. It was very Bangkok, the last place I got into a class with people yoga-ing in public, the postures moving faster than the traffic. The woman in the park conducting the class was about seven months pregnant, her belly naked over her tights, beautifully ostentatious, as Demi made pregnant bellies be. The park was full of gorgeous little flaxen-haired children, and mothers telling them "Good sharing!" One toddler in sagging jeans near the children's zoo was lagging several feet behind his mom, older brother in the pram, and I suggested she hold on to him so someone wouldn't steal him, including me. Then I told him to grabd on very tight to the bottom of his mother's shorts, and not let go, and he did, I am incredibly effective with other people's children.
Then came the good news about the Enron boys, unfree at last!unfree at last! Last night I went with a friend to The Da Vinci Code, and with every ponderous scene congratulated myself on never having been able to read the novel, my eyes locking from the bad prose. Miraculously they managed to translate every ounce of setentiousness onto the screen, the only thing more ridiculous than the scenes in the present being the flashbacks, rife with double exposures and all manner of costly historical reconstructions as pointless as they must have been costly. Poor Tom Hanks. The ridge over his nose deepened with every improbable dialogue exchange, as he seemed to hear it, and wonder what has ever made him agree to be in the picture. At one point he actually said "What am I supposed to do?" and I wanted to cry out "Get a haircut." But I will admit the film affected me-- I awoke at 5 AM in a state of terror, the terror being I dreamed I was going to have to see the movie again.
Mimi joined her little buddies this morning in the park,--New York dogs are much more social than the ones in LA. On the path by the pond, a woman looked through binoculars at the trees. "What did you find?" I asked her. "An oriole," she said, and told me she had heard that about New York, that she would enjoy it even if she wasn't a shopper, filled as it was with exotic birds. "That's what's so great about this city," she said. "Something for everyone,"
Oh, I do hope so.

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