dailybell: Third week of August- PUBLIC

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Third week of August- PUBLIC

8/16 AM Sleepover Sunrise
A short story of a very long night- in the wrong airport. For now here’s a list of what I remember: the skateboard guys, the kind woman who held my bag, Doritos dinner from the vending machine at 3AM, the very nice steward who returned to the empty plane to get some salt (and pepper) for my contact lenses, the woman with dog who tried to rescue the stuck puppy in the conveyor belt (it only sounded like a squealing puppy), sleeping on 2 seats with my neck brace and head resting on my computer pillow, the wild insomniac child running the length of the terminal at 3:30 AM, his non-insomniac parents following him around, the lies (oops, I mean reasons) that we ended up spending the night in the Syracuse airport instead on landing in JFK, the piece of paper circulating on the final leg of the journey gathering names and email addresses for a class action suit, the disappearance of said list, the recirculation of a piece of paper during the 1 1/ 2 hour wait for our luggage at the baggage carousel, the kindness of strangers and incredible patience and good humor for the 24 hour journey from LA to JFK.

We could have gone to India

8/16 PM Sunset at C-Town
Delta Flight #204 finally arrived in New York! Yay. The weather is perfect. Not too hot. A nice breeze. After taking a shower, unpacking and brushing my teeth about 5 times, I called my neighbor Penelope. She hadn’t called because she thought I would be sleeping in after my flight. Ha! She and I went grocery shopping at C-Town. It was the most intensely pink sunset I have seen in a while. Oh I am so glad to be here.

8/17 PM The Trouble With Santa
So much for the wonderful magic of the “free” word. It didn’t work here in NY outside of Macy’s at sunset. In fact, I felt a bit like an out of season Santa the moment I started ringing the bells. The association with the Salvation Army Santa and Macy’s at Christmas time is so strong it was disorienting and palpable. People looked at me as if I was crazy. And it was even worse when I offered the free bells. Hand extended, “They’re free. Take one.” You’d think I was passing out bullets from the looks of horror I got. People couldn’t get away fast enough. So maybe I can’t generalize about the universal wonder of “free”. Or maybe I shouldn’t generalize about the “New York” reaction. Perhaps it was just the proximity to Macy’s. I hate to think it’s just me so I’ll try somewhere else later this week and see how that goes.

8/18 PM Couldn't Wait
I just couldn’t wait for the sunset. The buildings and bridge were on fire! So beautiful. I rang and filmed about 15 minutes early in order to capture that incredible light. After I went inside, Mary and I rang the bells over the phone together again. I have added the audio from that recording to the mix of the blazing buildings- sort of a time lapse, time collapse.

8/19 PM Asian Bells at Sunset in Manhattan
After several recent long distance ringings over the phone where only one of us can actually experience the sunset at a time, Mary and I were in the same place at the same time. Our friend Betty Sue joined us and rang assorted bells from the Buchens’ collection of bells from several Asian countries. Conjuring cows and goats, they played the bells for Mary’s dog, Mr. Singh and me. Beautiful bells. Thanks!

8/22 PM Going to the Walk-In Movies
Penelope and I were on our way to the 6B community garden at 6th street and Ave B when the sun set. There were still a few minutes to go until the sunset as we rode over the Williamsburg Bridge on the bus. However, it looked so beautiful outside the bus windows that I snapped a photo through the windshield just before we got off the bus. We were going to transfer to the subway and then realized that it was quicker and more direct to walk. So we rang a few bells on the way to the garden where Richard Sandler was showing his film, “Brave New York”. It was packed. I love going to events at the 6B Garden and sitting outside watching movies with everyone from the neighborhood. It’s like a drive in - only better.

8/23 PM Chasing the Sunset at 30,000 feet
Riding on the plane from New York to California during an extended sunset, we rang the bells and celebrated 4 times. Each time, we thought, “This is it”. The first time was over Missouri. The man by the window said he thought the sun wouldn’t be setting for half and hour, but I didn’t believe him. And since we couldn’t actually see the sun, we had to guess from the what the man could see of the shadows on the wing and of the sun on the ground and clouds below. The second time we rang the bells was over Kansas. When we rang for the third time while flying over Colorado, we definitely thought that was it. A little while later, the sun was blasting a beautiful clear orange light through the window into the plane so we rang for the final time. Then the sun really was gone for the day. Even though it’s not possible, it felt like we were keeping up with the sun or at least playing tag. Even at 500 miles per hour, we finally fell behind and when we landed in San Francisco, it was dark.

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