Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stories from Stormville Part 2

Empire State Building

First of all so many thanks to all the super kind commenters and others who have sent us their good wishes. We are fine --powerless, waterless and heatless ( am at a friend's house uptown writing this!) . Heartbreaking  pictures on the TV or horribly widespread destruction. Awful, awful and horribly sad. We were totally fortunate.
Herewith some random thoughts jotted down over the last two days: 
So at about 8:30 on Tuesday evening the lights flickered and then went out.
No more TV, internet, video games.

took dog for walk past shut down subway at height of storm. Dog too well house trained!

 No water, flushing the toilet, washing of hands (though we do have enough water to drink if we are careful.) Refrigerator.
Walked dog about 9:30 --only 4 floors of leg improving stair climbing. 

our building with NO power!
Then realised that the votive candle lights aren’t bright enough to read by --unless I use lots of them, which I won’t -- since candles are impossible to come by.
Went to bed and listened to stormy gusts.

Got up at six in the dark and took the dog out. Frank, the doorman, asked if I was scared and I said, “What of?” But he stood by the door and kept an eye on me.
 Yvette, our other door person, was a blanketed bundle sleeping in the lobby since she’s frightened of ‘mousies’ in the basement. 
Went back to bed.
Claudia vibered from London about 8. Were we OK? Fine, I said.
Did we know Con Ed blew up? That the subways were flooded?
Did we have food? Apples and cheese and Robert’s homemade soup and all the Halloween candy for the Halloween that may not happen. (I made a good start on the Whoppers yesterday). And some cereal....
We do have gas so I can make tea without which I would be sad indeed. Went for another walk and met friends from 11th Avenue who had five feet of water in their stairwell. Met various friends with dogs like John with Big Henry and Alexis and Bunty with Baxter. Apparently the dog run was completely underwater.

the first coffee available above the Battery (27th St.)
No electricity below 39th except in the Penn South Development which has its own generator. Luckily I have friends there and will break in later to charge computer and hope to see a little TV news. 
Other people have much more dramatic photos than me. The front fell off a building on 8th and 14th St ( we are 8th and 23rd). Will go to look at that when I take Buster out at lunch time. The stairs are treacherous without light.
Storm itself completely over.

Went to Nancy’s in Penn South with Buster in the afternoon. She has electricity and water but no phone or TV. I washed my hands in warm water. Waved to our building, where Robert was looking out of the window, from Nancy’s terrace, but he did not see me......not even 24 hours yet. Hm.....
heading north in search of water
Robert has gone out to try to buy water. Lots of people wandering round aimlessly. No traffic lights.
Groundsman at Penn South was washing down sidewalk with a hose.

Penn South has a community room where you can charge your cell phone but Buster was with me. No dogs allowed.

A candlelit dinner: tortelloni with unfrozen peas and good parmesan. Sort of getting used to the weirdness. Nancy gave us a nice big pillar candle --maybe I can see enough to continue knitting hat I started this morning.
Planning to go uptown tomorrow to shower and recharge computer so I can write, but have revived ink pen for calligraphy.

romantic candle lit dinner. Note Robert's beer

last night

This morning it's brighter for us.

The hanging crane of 57th St.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stories from Stormville:Part One

Well, so far, happily, nothing to report.

Regardless of the weather the dog has to be walked.

In the early morning there are few people about.

At about 11 we set out for Chelsea Piers to look at the Hudson

which was very full of water and churning about and all choppy.

Quite a lot of people there taking photos (of course).

The dog was somewhat bemused.

So we walked home and took a nap. A very odd day with everything shut: schools, offices, subways, buses etc etc. If you didn't look at television, you would think --just another damp day. A good chance to catch up on reading and organizing. Then I start wondering if we have enough food and start mentally planning meals. Then I wonder what it would be like to be in a siege....and so on and so on. I realize how absurdly spoiled we are in New York to rely on water and electricity and anything we could possibly want whenever we want it -- when quite a lot of the inhabitants of the globe don't.

2:30 pm from the window.

London Flowers and West Square

Sitting round in New York waiting for Hurricane Sandy so looking at more cheery pictures... 

Berwick Street

outside a pub

outside Liberty's

If I were to live in London again, I have my eye on West Square near The Imperial War  Museum once lived in, variousl, by Charlie Chaplin and the inventor of the Periodic Table.....

A real square with well tended gardens in the middle

benches and old trees

a friend goes with me

and is enchanted too

I decide that this corner house may well be for add to my list of fantasy residences.
For lovely photos of one of my days in London go to Karen's Pas Grand Chose.

Let's hope the storm isn't as bad as predicted.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spring Workshop

Seth Apter, Roxanne Evans Stout and I have been planning a wonderful workshop for the spring

where the three of us will be hosting what is sure to be a magical weekend of creativity in New York City. On March 9th and 10th, we will be opening up the Little Bird Creations Studio to 10 people, who will spend two days making their own book, creating pages of art, and writing their own story.

You will start the weekend off by creating a book from scratch that will be the structure to house your art and stories. You will then be guided through a series of unique art activities to bring out your creative spirit and add art to your pages. Next you will write your own story and tell your tale on the pages of the book. You will finish up by binding your pages and pulling the whole project together. In between there will be special, creative exercises and a lot of bonding going on.

The workshop will begin from the moment you register, as you begin to think of your theme and gather scraps, words, art materials, found objects, etc. - all of which will support your story. All three of us will be available by email to answer questions, guide you through your art gathering, and help you develop your story.

Please contact Seth, Roxanne or me for how to sign up as it is rather complicated.
My email is

Herewith two images from England to set your storytelling ideas flowing. The front door of a house in a magical square in West Square. I have no idea who lives there now or ever did.....

And people arriving last Sunday morning at Guildford Station --each with his or her own tale to tell....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Misty Morning

Autumn is my favorite season ( though I pretty much like the other ones too...) anyway the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' is always wonderful.

Here a friend's garden in Wilshire very early in the morning.....

with the dew very heavy on the grass...

where the apples lie untended.
We should pick them up and make
apple sauce and apple pie.

This tree is so old that lichen covers the branches

and this apple is gleaming with wetness.

Saddle stones

and the Hobbit house (which is listing alarmingly) next to the conker tree.

And Michaelmas daisies

and the border run amock

while Ms.Spider has been busy and busy.

You can tell I miss the English countryside!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More London (Thursday)

Very odd being a tourist in a city where I spent the first half of my life and everything seemed normal not remarkable --so I go around taking pictures of things-- a cafe in Soho

a door near the British Museum

my favorite bookshop  -- Persephone -- where I stocked up on all sorts of things.

Then the 38 bus through Picadilly Circus

past the Ritz

then the train to Clapham Junction

to my cousin's house

where we discuss family endlessly and I snap inadvertent still lives...

and the South London front path.

ps: Very soon Seth Apter, Roxanne Evans Stout and I will be announcing an art and writing workshop we'll be teaching in New York in the spring --details to follow shortly.