Friday, May 17, 2013

Vanished Corners

Last night I dreamed that I was standing on the corner of 12th & Ave A to take photos of the four corners for my blog, which I had been documenting several years ago when the stores were empty or in varying stages of construction. However, 12th Street west of Avenue A was no longer a street -- the buildings extended across 12th Street on Avenue A continuously, and in the same 5-6 story tenement style as the other buildings along the avenue.

I was confused, wondering which stores I had been photographing since there were no corners, and I chose two stores to photograph that would have been on the corners if there were corners. All of the stores were very colorful and bustling and it was a bright, sunny day. A store had opened where Table 12 is now, a dress shop called Vera with loud, colorful long flowing flowery dresses in the window. I thought it was all too fancy and expensive, but was pleased with the diversity and excited to show the contrast of the old and the new.

Then I looked up and saw that all the apartments above the stores were completely burned out and empty. No glass in the windows, decaying brick, abandoned. Discouraged, I walked east toward the river and then I was in Long Beach California (though it looked nothing like any beach in any part of California). I don't know how I knew it was Long Beach. There was a giant, empty, sandy beach on a bay with only one building in the distance, a huge red-brick and sandstone movie theater in the 1920s RKO style facing the beach at a jaunty angle. The architecture was beautiful and dramatic, but the bottom part of the building was all big glass windows. I was happy they had saved the original building despite the modern windows, and thought I would move to Long Beach because that building indicated to me that this was a town that cared about its heritage, unlike New York.

Then, in my dream, I woke up and thought about the dream and rushed to turn on the computer to write this email because I was so happy to have finally had a dream about New York. I fumbled around and couldn't get the computer on and got frustrated and could no longer remember the dream. Then I woke up for real.


The Pits

I had a dream that I was walking around the West Village in Manhattan, and on every block of beautiful old brownstones, there was at least one large pit in the ground where a highrise would soon be built. On Morton Street between 7th Avenue and Hudson (in the dream), I was shocked... and I looked towards the brownstones where I saw people standing, thinking they were the residents and I would send them looks of condolence, but they were all men (white men) wearing uniforms... protecting the development site. I was yelling in outrage.

--Randi Cecchine April 22, 2013