dailybell2008: 6/8/08 - 6/15/08

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First Week of June

6/1 AM Good Morning Straphangers
I stood outside in my pajamas and waited to greet that sunrise J train.

6/1PM Ringing Bells with my Dad
My father and I rang the bells from the balcony of his apartment in Lambertville. He lives near the Delaware River and it would have been lovely to watch the sunset over the water. However, there are so many trees there's no way to see the sun.

6/2 AM Strolling Through the Park One Day...
My dad woke up at 5:10 this morning and went out with me to ring bells at sunrise in his neighborhood. We walked across the street in front of the playground, just as I had done at the end of March. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a tripod this time, so I just propped the camera up on one of those orange rubber cones used for traffic regulation.

6/2 PM J Train on the Bridge
Returning to New York on the verge of sunset, I almost made it home in time. However, the sun was setting set as we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, so I rang inside the subway car. No one wanted to join me, but a few people were interested in the project. A Hasidic woman stood next to me, and she reminded me that most religious people already pay attention to the sun and the times of day.

6/3 PM Sundown on Canal Street
We finished eating in Chinatown just before the sun was due to set. Under no circumstances did Ching want to ring bells inside the restaurant so we hurried outside and rang the bells on Canal Street. All the bells this evening are very recent gifts. The one that Ching is ringing came from my father's cousin, Miriam, who has recently moved into a nursing home. Miriam was a nurse and had worked all of her life in Trenton hospitals. She was also the nurse who delivered me when I was born. She had a small collection of bells on a rope. The rope was so old that it let go of this one bell, so I put it into my bag this evening to ring after dinner. Those cymbal bells that I am dangling in front of the camera are a gift from Ching. They are from Nepal. Thank you, Miriam and Ching!

6/4 PM (MAYBE) Can Hardly Hear the Bells. Can't See the Sun.
I took all the bells out back and rang them- to the traffic, to my neighbors, to the rain. After I had already finished and packed up, I heard a train coming so I grabbed all the cowbells in one hand and another bell in my other hand and rattled them all to the people passing by. I felt like King Kong.

6/5 AM Ears out Front
The early morning soundscape is much denser here than in San Francisco. More machines, less birds. Yet it’s relatively still compared to the rest of the day in both cities. Since we’ve already seen and heard enough from the front and back of the apartment this season, I thought it would be nice to just listen for a change. This recording is from the front of the building on Broadway.

6/5 PM Making Tussie-Mussies
Mary and Connie hosted a Tussie-Mussie workshop at the 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden.Tussie Mussie “is a small bunch of flowers, typically given as a gift. They have existed in some form since at least medieval times, when they were worn around the head or on the lapel to mask the unpleasant smells of the time- literally, to keep the nose gay (to keep the nose happy).” Wikipedia. During Victorian times Tussie Mussies were given during courtship, and the flowers were used to convey specific sentiments and ideas. This site offers examples of the “language of flowers”. At the end of this evening’s workshop, the remaining tussie-mussie makers rang bells for the setting sun.

6/6 AM Meanwhile Out in the Back...

This morning’s recording
is the book end to yesterday’s. I went out behind the apartment just as the early morning J train was passing by.

6/6 PM Ring for the King
Pauline, Ione and I ate at the King's Wok. We could have hurried out into the parking lot to catch the sunset, but we decided to ring inside the restaurant. So I brought out all the little quiet bells and we rang them for dessert. When I placed the camera at an empty table across the room, I didn't think anyone would notice. The waitresses at the King's Wok are sharp and the food was really good, too.

6/8 AM Sunday morning by the Williamsburg Bridge

LISTEN Try jumping around in the audio file as it's playing back.

6/8 PM Crack in the Fence

Penelope, Liz and I walked down to the East River at sundown. It was in the mid-nineties here today and we thought it might be cooler by the river. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get anywhere near the water. Restaurants, construction, un-named security areas and locked parking lots blocked the way to the bank of the river. We managed to slip through a crack in the fence at the back of one of the parking lots. All we could see was a deserted cement slab with a few decorations scattered about. The slab led right up to a little ridge overlooking the water. There was loud music playing and we peeked around the fence and saw a tent set up by the water – but no people. Not wanting to disturb anyone (or to get thrown out), we decided to wait until the last minute to walk into the area and ring the bells by the river. While we waited an announcer came on the PA and started shouting over the music, inviting “everybody to get up and come onto the dance floor”. So we did.