24 January 2006

"This is the sort of place which, as a child, one would have been rather afraid of or else would have liked very much indeed." A moment later I thought, "But when alone—really alone—everyone is a child: or no one?"

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

coming up from the subway.

Maybe it will fade with time, but for now, walking through grimy dark tunnels to the opening up of skyscrapers and blurs of colors and light, rushing people, wet trash in shining puddles, the smells of hot and cold metal and concrete and hot dogs and falafel: they make me catch my breath, and sometimes giggle with glee.

being at the center.

I go to McSweeney's, there's a reading going on tonight, and where else would it be, but the center of the universe?

an overabundance of style.

One of the main reasons I fell in love so madly with Paris was the unending supply of grey beauty. (New York doesn't have that kind of beauty at all. What it has it owns completely on its own, though it may have a few similar components: the eye-rolling contempt for outsiders, the greyness.) The people here are just so bursting with an excitement for life that may not be as intense and existentialist as the Parisians', but allows old women to wear clothes, and look good in them!, that I used to worry sometimes I would have to stop buying in the next five years, ten years. Fishnets, lacy skirts, pink corduroys, cat-eye glasses. A cute hipster girl walking through the park wearing a dark coffee silk shirt with a built-in tie, a flaring brown tweed skirt, and really well-worn leather boots then has a tiny little boy in a frog green parka run up to her and grab her hand. An unbearably tall girl with shiny red hair walks down the hall upstairs in the CS department with the kind of authority that makes me think she does Research that I might Care About is wearing a emerald-colored tank top that drapes carelessly and beautifully down her lithe form.

[I'm currently in a Natural Language Processing graduate lecture that's about to start. There is no style in here, mostly just dorky Asian boys.]


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