dogs in the hood

The dogs of 82nd St. inbetween Central Park West & Columbus Ave.- interesting pet culture here. Again I observe my surroundings in the dark of the night. At all hours I see it- the light of a flat goes on, in a few moments an owner & their dog appears on the stoop, down the steps and onto the sidewalk for this nightly ritual of dog-walking & defecating. How strange it must be to be leashed & enroute to a patch of dirt w/trees (sometimes not even this & just pavement) to 'do their duty' as the owner waits...watching & ever ready to pick up the remains w/requisite plastic bag already wrapped around their hands. I don't think dogs like being observed- I mean who likes to be observed in these instances? It is hard for me to catch dogs eyes here in NYC because I sense this sadness in them being cooped up in a flat all day long and to not have the freedom to run around in a yard and deficate on their time. How strange to train an animal when to deficate. Homo sapiens don't go through this ritual do they? Why does humanity impose this on their beloved pets- man's best friend even? These are my thoughts on this matter and they end here...

So the storm arrived earlier than scheduled this evening. It was 6:15 pm & just back from Zabar's w/foodstuffs when I felt the drops commence. Large, playful bursts at first that I knew within 4 blocks of walking would drench me before my journey's end. So yes, 45 minutes early- pretty good meterological standards I reckon.

Different- East Coast storms, from what I experience on Maui. This was an exceptional lightning and thunder storm that flooded streets instantly where rivers appeared out of nowhere overflowing the curbs onto sidewalks. I've seen nothing like this in a long time. People were flitting all over the streets initially. What a great feeling getting caught in a torrential downpour. It reminded me of a scene in Vienna for me a few years back now. I was in the historic district downtown and found myself in a park where suddenl
y rain broke out in such a feverish manner that as I looked up the scene I saw was vastly different than moments before. Suddenly I noticed that not only did everybody have umbrellas, but there was a sea of couples underneath them walking and chatting in such a sensual manner. Suddenly the whole world was in love and underneath those umbrellas. My eyes were hurting from what I soaked in: everybody was hugging and kissing passionately.

It was such an incredibly beautiful yet painful experience in that moment as I had been traveling along for the past month in remote places. What followed was that I just couldn't stay in Vienna, for whatever reasons I told myself at the time, and headed back to the train station with no destination in mind- just out of the 'city of love'. Arriving at the station, 2 guys were getting off a train & we started talking of travels. They told me of a 3-day dance party in southern Germany in the forest. Off I went... That was fun!

Nearing 2am and I write this to wind down. I have just finished what I think to be my last paper of this school term! It was an emotional experience as all my writings are & even the ones prepared for school. This is a turning point for me as it signals my time in NYC coming to an end. It is such an incredible experience here and what a rich opportunity I have in being here for a chunk of time- enough so I know this city. I have a history with this city. In knowing this, I am ready to journey away from this city.

I have changed. My body has struggled to adapt to this city. It is increasingly difficult to not feel really free from stimulus here. There are not too many quiet moments where I really feel a connection to what I am standing upon. Tonight's rains brought comfort. I ran inside to throw groceries down and back out and just stood in the rain receiving my communion with nature and enjoying myself and the scenery of watching people scramble down the street. The lightning that followed added to the drama as the sky was still blue blue in isolated places with the clouds filling up with so much moisture that they appeared to be free-falling into the rooftops and finally letting go of its embrace and release the negative ions into the atmosphere for humanity to soak up and regenerate. In moments darkness crept over the skyline and thunder ripped through the atmosphere. It made my heart jump. It felt incredible. Just add water and breathe deeply- don't forget to laugh.

I can now unleash my thoughts on what to do my last 3 weeks of NYC life when school is out next week. Do I continue to take advantage of this metropolis? I am free to wander! Free to have my mind blown. Free to honor my wanderlust briefly before hunkering back down on Maui engulfed in work & school. I can almost smell the salt water. It is faint but I can visualize & feel the water tingling. I can feel the wet sand erupt from between my toes, and the I can hear the squeaking of the hot, dry sand upslope underneath my feet as I walk my favorite stretch of sand- the stretch that I know so intimately so memories vibrate throughout my body as I relive them now. To be reunited with this lover... so moody when the sun sets through the crotch of trees bordering the edge and further back into the depths of Iao Valley looming in the distance. It is the curiosity of an adult-child that keeps me together. The wanting to feel something resonate throughout my body in those moments of sunset splendor with rays of light emminating from the Needle and into the atmosphere like a spotlight drawing attention to the coming of dusk.
If I continue to write I will never sleep...