I wore a t-shirt to the office this morning. 65 degrees and sunny on December 1st. I think Manhattan is pretending to be Santa Barbara to bring the tourists back.


On the walk home from Max’s reading last night, we stopped off at a playground in Park Slope. I’d been tempted by the swings here two Saturdays before. These are cool municipal swings, not like the truncated little set in our back garden when we were growing up. Long, solid chains, wide seats, and smooth tarmac underneath. I knew these swings would let me be a safety-harnessed Tarzan, but I didn’t want to be near the bored, jostling 14 year olds who claimed them that day.

At 1.30 last night, though, they were mine. At first, I felt exhilarated. Then I couldn’t go much higher and I started to realize I was going nowhere. Back and forth, back and forth, an endless revving up for nothing. Drunkenly, I tried to calculate how drunk I was, which made me nervous. I imagined what would happen if I let go at the top of an arc. There were butterflies in my stomach as the swing dipped each time.

Someone said that a fear of heights is really a fear of our impulse to jump, and it’s true.

Raul Malo

Went to see Raul Malo play at Irving Plaza last night. It was like an intellectual wedding band. Heavy bebop piano on ‘Guantanamera’, and soulful Roy Orbison vocals on melancholy love songs. I still don’t have a passable rumba, salsa or merengue move, despite several lessons and a whole year of going to Cuban bars in Spain. I can shuffle out the steps by myself, but as soon as someone tries to lead, I turn into I Can Dance Barbie…Now With Bendable Limbs. With a serious case of the white woman’s overbite.

Went to Great Jones Cafe for catfish afterwards. The waitress was one of The Rogers Sisters, my friend Miyuki’s excellent band. When I lived in Midtown (55th and 5th) I used to see celebrities all the time but never anyone I knew. I’d forgotten what it was like to live in a community until I moved to Carroll Gardens. Now, the people I run into are like stakes on a flysheet, anchoring me down to this place.