Preparing for a trip becomes a nuisance so tedious, you just want to speed up time and let it happen already. I'm packing for a variety of situations and the very fickle mother nature, which means I'm over packing. It must be done. Shop clothes for my workshops, what if it's 80 degrees, that's an East Coast 80 which is much hotter than the dry heat out here in California or even in the Sonoran desert where I happily immerse myself in 100 degrees. It could be 61 degrees and windy, especially near the sea shore or it could rain-oh on, that's a shoe situation that I hadn't thought about, maybe I need my light hiking shoes just in case I need to tread through deep puddles. I've got neice's graduation where I'll need to play dress up, some family events, urban treking that may end in nice restaurant meals, the workshop teaching and general family visits...OH and a trunk show. There are planes and trains to catch, shuttles to call and cars to drive and the wretched penance of going all H.G. Wells...back three hours in time.
First off, my niece ilana's graduation from high school and family visit. The speakers at the graduation talked of getting out of your bubble and flying, experiencing life and not worrying about having no idea what you want to be, yet. I was ready for the eye roll and instead impressed by the poignant and progressive messages.
My sister took me to a site in New Jersey called Eagle Rock where the view spans to the NYC skyline. The park had a tasteful September 11th memorial with many honors and dedications...a quiet, respectful and somber setting. It was a murky day for the view and I bet at night it would be spectacular to see the lights of the buildings reflecting off of the Hudson from this spot.
I grew up outside of New York City, the lights in close proximity-an etheral glow eliciting all that a city has to offer; serendipitous adventure, creativity and multitudes of options
The city contains some of the most amazing and important art in the world, an ironic juxtaposition to the canned commercialism that has overtaken almost every portal...with a few exceptions and some old school remains. I've visited the new Whitney Museum in a neighborhood that used to stink, literally. It's funny how a city evolves from the dregs of meat packing and it's acrid stench of carrion to the most stylish. I had first visited the Whitney as a child, mesmerized by Jackson Pollock, intrigued by the conceptual idea of infinite numbers being printed on a daisy matrix, the pages stacking up to ...well...infinite. The Highline is a relatively new destination in the city, once the elevated train, now an urban and architechtural oasis spanning almost 2 miles with the promise of luxury housing sprouting like the weeds that they've harvested to use as the natural flora along the paths.
Boston is a favorite place where I had once lived and had not visited for many years. The cobblestone streets, charm and walkability still are the same. The T, Bostons subway, is as easy as ever to navigate. An urban trek led us to many familiar neighborhoods and lots of change. The Boston Gardens and Commons were as lovely as ever, flowers blosssoming, dark green grass, meandering paths and the duck pond...through the trees, the city buildings portraying many eras of this historic city. I met up with textile artist Barbara Poole of B.Felt designs (bfelt.com) who tooks me around First Fridays in the South End neighborhood, a bustling zone of art galleries, restaurants and studios. When I used to live in Boston it was a place you avoided. Of course, students lived there due to the inexpensive housing. Walking down Charles Street the familiar businesses had changed, but the quaint setting remained, the North End had a face lift, the waterfront has a new (to me) Rose Kennedy Greenway and I was relieved to see that the sea otters were still visible from outside the Aquarium. Two days was too short a time, lots of ground was covered on foot ....and Ice cream enjoyed on the stoop of an anonymous brownstone on Newbury street, a sensuous treat in the warm June air. I've sat on that stoop with Emack and Bolios ice cream many times, dare I say, decades earlier. Still home-made, the scoopers still are pierced, tatooed and have their hair dyed in kalediscopic colors-friendly outcasts in the midst of leaving their own bubbles of the comfortable and familiar. Nothing has changed. And everything has changed...A sweet and luxurious metamorphosis, leaving the bubble of the familiar for the experience of life.