Friday, July 8, 2011

Godspeed, Atlantis

I haven't watched a shuttle launch since I was a kid. My memories are a bit clouded now. We took time out of class when I was in elementary school, gathering in the cafeteria as a teacher wheeled a clunky CRT television set into the room. I recall crowding around with my friends; the lot of us holding our breath as the boosters ignited and the shuttle pushed for orbit.

There's a lot I don't remember about that launch. The year it happened. The name of the shuttle.

But when I watched Atlantis' engines light for the last time my memories of how I felt that afternoon came roaring back. The same adrenaline-fueled giddiness I felt when I was 6 (or 7, or whenever that was) poured over me again at 28.

Thanks for the memories, NASA, and the wonder.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th 2011 - In Which We Eat

In Ohio my friends and I ate a lot. I don't mean that we ate unnecessarily large portions though, being from the Midwest, that was also true. I mean we spent a lot of time and effort cooking for each other. Pot lucks were frequent in the year before I left and they're something I really miss. Even before I could properly cook these communal meals were something I always looked forward to if only for the warm, easy social aspects of food. For whatever reason - proximity of great restaurants? difficulty in taking cooked food on the subway? - these exhibitions of communal cookery have not been as frequent since I moved to New York.

So it was that on July 4th it was the food and the company, more than the fireworks which were an afterthought for me, that I really enjoyed.

Of course, since one of the hosts was Asian, these pictures are not entirely accurate representations of the evening. By the end it seemed like we'd hardly eaten anything the platters of food were still stacked high. Higher still were our spirits because, really, what's better than great food with great company?

Here's to more nights like this one.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 2 2011 - That 'Nature' Thing

Sitting on the Long Meadow in Prospect Park at the tail end of a 7-hour extravaganza of greenery, food, drinks and overlapping circles of friends I breathed deeply of summer air that actually smelled, to me, like summer. The smell of leaves and warm grass; a contrast to the overheated concrete and car exhaust that's the New York norm. I get lost pretty much 100% of the time I go to this park and this day was no exception with my exit taking an even more roundabout, circuitous path than my entrance. As I walked through the paths in the late evening stumbling upon random clearings and piece of mind I caught myself thinking that, with frequent enough visits, the stillness and calm in this park could possibly be enough to balance the chaos that is the rest of this city.

Later that night I saw Bridesmaids and laughed a lot.