Nastia's Slow Little Days

By Anastasia

A Thousand Dead Umbrellas

I want to write this post in E-Prime, but it's not going to happen.

Yesterday, March 6th, was a rainy, windy, New York day. At first, when we were just leaving for the train station in a dry spell, I welcomed the rain as a so-long to winter, joyed to see vibrant green coming back in full force thanks to all the rain. And then I had to spend my day out in it, when we got to the city and it was still pouring. Drenched me longs for the warm covers of bed more than anything, but ultimately my choice of down-vest was not an entire disaster. I wasn't cold enough to warrant feeling that was a mistake, and once I got some wine in me, I got a lot warmer. Ha.

Okay, how do I keep this brief-ish? The first stop in our Sunday in the city (our = roommate plus me, most of the time), beyond Grand Central, was going to be Madison Square Park. However, when we sloshed out of the 23rd Street station, we were confronted with the Lomography store staring straight at us from across the street. I intended to split the city excursion into photography and music, hoping to get some nice black&white lomos at Mad. Sq. Pk.. To this end, I had packed all my Diana F+ goodies into my fortress of a purse and had even looked into developing my roll of film (from December!) in the city but had given up before even leaving the apartment. Negative reviews all around (on the internet) for quality and price in the city. Dwayne's it'll have to be. Anyway, we found the subway exit quite serendipitous and jumped on the opportunity to get out of the rain. Some of the equipment in the store was cheaper than I expected so I might have to give my special-edition Diana some extra love. We'll see. When I asked one of the two girls working in the store that day (made me miss my bookstore days tremendously!) about upcoming events, especially what exactly the "Dianalogues" entailed, she walked us over to the various Diana cameras and started explaining that it had to do with those cameras. Little did she know, I had my Tori Diana F+ tucked in my bag. It was all rather silly, but it felt good to be a hybrid of New York resident and totally clueless wanderer when she talked to us matter-of-factly about events at the other location in Gramercy. I know what Gramercy is, but that's about it. It's nice to be treated as a New Yorker, as if I actually know anything substantial about the place, navigation-wise.

Moving right along (any hope of briefness long extinguished)... we walked out of the store back into the flood and scurried over to a cattycornered Walgreen's. This Walgreen's wasn't like any I'd ever been in before in the Midwest. It was very sleek and chic, and I think part of me lamented not getting that taste of home, however dull and commercialized. We came back out with what seemed a giant umbrella, but which nevertheless proved insufficient for keeping us dry. Ah well.

By the time we made it the couple more blocks to the park, we were fairly soaked and we discovered the paths at the park were, too. Since we needed to get back out of the rain sooner rather than later, I had to forego the black&white Madison Square Park lomo-ing, but perhaps I'll return in fairer weather with some new b/w film and complete that project. I did get some fun snaps of the Flatiron, the crazily-cubed new One Park Place building, and one of the current installations at the park. As we left the park, I nabbed this blip! (And actually, that is the Flatiron on the left side of the frame.)

"When Bryan's cymbals splash in a song about a rainy-day loss of faith, you don't just hear the water; you see a thousand dead umbrellas." - Collier Schorr, NYT

On our way to the Bowery, we passed many more eye-catching umbrellas that I quickly captured with my (our) dripping Canon Rebel, and I even got a shot of a truly dead umbrella outside the F station on 2nd Ave.. There, we planned to look around for some nice restaurant, but the rain precluded much searching. So we just crossed the street into the Whole Foods fortress, and this time, I was home again. The seating at this Whole Foods was abysmal, mall Food Court seating-style, so dinner was fairly quiet, with the exception of some Trustafarian across the table going on about how Daddy wouldn't let her sell her stock options when she was broke and about "safe grains, like amaranth." Gawd, if only I had that kind of money and background, what I would have done by now! I hated the city so much at that moment.

Anyway! It got better. We walked a couple more blocks over to Rockwood Music Hall, which was the catalyst for the day-trip. It was a little after 6, and Rosi Golan wasn't playing 'til 7, so one of the waiters at Stage 2 walked us over to Stage 1 and pointed to a teeny sliding door, behind which was a cozy little hang-out spot, with a third, smaller bar, from which the show on Stage 1 was being broadcast. We ate a strawberry shortcake dessert we'd brought over from Whole Foods, which went great with my robust-sized Shirley Temple. I liked the decor of the little room, with its low-to-the-ground theatre-seats, the conversation a few feet over, less so, as it made me miss the close-knit creative community at home, and made me wish I were at Film Streams. Whatever, I'm going home soon, right? And I'll move back eventually.

We moseyed on over to Stage 2 with plenty of time to settle into our bar-stools before the show. We shared glasses of dry, Spanish wine and juicy, French wine. Then the day got a million times better. I have so much more to say about that (can you believe I'm still blabbing?), but that's what my music blog is for! Rosi Golan performed a terrific set, along with her friend Allie Moss. So many new songs! A delight! Afterwards, we walked next door to Stage 1 and sat right under Alex Wong's nose! I twisted my chair at an angle so as not to be any more of an imposition than I already felt (I think when he was setting up, I might have bumped the mic while moving my chair, while he was trying to use it! Oops!). In any case, the intimate settings were spectacular, as I've never really experienced that aside from performances by high-school and college acquaintances (and chamber concerts, of course!), not bona fide, well-renowned, album-recording musicians! Though of course, my Nebraska and community-loving selves found it a bit incongruous how small the setting was and yet how much an obstacle it felt to approaching the artists. I'll talk more about that when I write my Go, Turtle, Go! post. Because, ultimately, it probably only comes down to me and my own self-imposed limitations.

Point being, despite the rain, it was a terrific day! (Maybe I could have just written that whole sentence instead of a chapter? Ah well, I'm glad I'm at least writing something!)

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