Thursday, September 13, 2012


I am walking along W.14th with my husband, surrounded by the still largely present (yay!) cheesy discount stores. I notice, to my horror, that one of the crummy electronics places is struggling to survive and trying a new tactic to draw in the masses. I see a buddy of mine, wearing a thong and in bare feet, prancing foolishly, Chippendale's-style, in front of the shop to lure in the customers.

I am mortified for him and want SO badly to cross to the other side of the street. But he spots me first and begins jokingly amping UP the bumping & grinding nonsense, then spots my husband and sheepishly retreats back into the store. It's too late to cross the street, my husband curiously asks, "Who is THAT?" and am forced to 'fess up that I know this absurd-seeming person.

--Ellen Fagan

E.B. and Maeve

this is a dream i have, sometimes it seems to segue from when i'm thinking about old new york, (and i fall asleep) but it is definitely something that i have dreamed for real.

it is basically me looking down an endless hallway, the kind with the cloudy window doors, with smoke seeping out and the hallway never ends. it's like a 40s detective movie and i keep thinking i am going to see eb white or maeve brennan with her wild hair. a few dreams i think i've opened the door and there is eb (who i've never really looked at closely in pictures) sweating in a miasmic airshaft.

i keep walking down the hallway for ever and ever and there is no end, i do hear a typewriter clicking sound, and a few times when i can open the door i see maeve brennan in her days of when she wasn't doing ok, when her hair was wild and she slept in the new yorker bathrooms.

i always wake up wondering where did that ny go? wasn't i just about to get a job in the typing pool and make my hands blue from carbon copies, wasn't i going to hand a handkerchief to eb to soak his sweat, wasn't i going to save the long winded lady somehow form the bathroom? wasn't i going to talk to someone when they wouldn't interrupt our conversation with looking at a cell/smartphone screen and talking on one? wasn't i going to be in some timezone when someone actually looked at me the whole time when we were talking and had some kind of mystique about them because no one was on facebook or twitter and you didn't know where someone went last night because they didn't post the event rsvp on their facebook page?

no, i wake up and that's not where i am at all and i shrink yet again.


Seaport Dream #1

I was at the fish market on South Street. It was present-day, but the fish market had only recently closed and the building had fallen down due to neglect. In its place was a giant hole, like a construction site, but it was open to the East River and water filled the bottom. On the water floated wooden pallets and platforms that one could walk on, but they bobbed around and it was dangerous as a person could fall off and get crushed between the floating wood pieces.

During the day, the water-filled pit was used by locals--long-time city residents--who would do their own fishing since the fish market was gone. People had their own little boats or they would just fish off of the floating platforms. The open basin was crammed with boats, wood and people, but everyone knew each other and helped each other out. I was trying to get across the pit by leap-frogging over the platforms. There was a sense of urgency because it was getting late in the day and, with nightfall, came all the frat-boy drinkers, who turned the place into a floating beer garden.

I remember the horror of it--being afraid of getting crushed between the unstable pallets, but being more afraid of being drowned by the hordes of drunkards who only came out at night. They were also in danger of being crushed by the wooden floats, but for some reason, they weren't concerned. The overall feeling was that the dangers faced by the old-timers didn't apply to the newcomers who were taking over. It was a given that the fishing operations taking place during the day would soon be eliminated by more beer gardens. I was much older in the dream--in my 50s or 60s. I woke up feeling very off balance.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Golden Handcuffs

I find myself in the most amazing of all locations. A house with a yard, not over-manicured, perhaps a hammock. There is a view of river all around, and somewhere in the distance the Empire State Building. It is sunny and very quiet and absolutely gorgeous. I am deeply happy and feel at home. There is the main house, and also a small cottage in the back.

I am offered to rent the place for $1,200 a month. It is unclear if I would be allowed to sublet the cottage,or even if I would have an official lease.

I have a dilemma--do I give up my apartment in Penn South, which I am guaranteed to have until I die--for a place that I might not be able to have forever? Is there some way that I could afford both payments? I feel trapped.

And then, perhaps in a different storyline, I was swimming around Manhattan...