Special "Rainy Days and Wednesdays" Edition
I was hoping to run today, but given the steady precipitation (and the forecast for more to come), I'm taking my second straight day off. And it's for the best, I think. In retrospect, the gleeful description of my Hermes-like fleet-footedness on Monday was probably a little optimistic (blame it on the endorphins again), and the truth is that I was hurting yesterday. A little rest never hurt a runner, I guess. Anyway, before I dive into the day's dissertating I thought I'd compose a short post of random thoughts and observations that have been accumulating, if only as an excuse to waste a few minutes and share a few leftover photographs. But to save time (yours, dear reader, as well as my own), today's edition will be in a sleek, bullet-pointed, and easy-to-digest, uh, digest format.
- Though I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about Lance Armstrong running his first marathon on Sunday, I was a little peeved by all the media attention. Seriously, this guy is a professional distance athlete -- is it so surprising that he'd finish (and with a solid time)? Still, though, anyone who's ever run a marathon had to feel a certain flush of pride and vindication when Lance called the race the "hardest physical thing" he'd ever done. Damn straight it's hard! But then again, that's part of the fun, I suppose.
- While perusing Google Maps yesterday, I realized there are substantial areas of Brooklyn -- places like Fort Hamilton and the old Navy Yard -- that have streets but which don't exactly encourage pedestrian interlopers running around and snapping pictures. But I figure I ought to try and run them anyway, so now I've got to get in touch with folks at those places and see what's up. Stay tuned to this blog for further developments.
- It's no secret that I'm a big music fan, and that I have a bit of an obsessive streak. So not that anyone cares, but the stuff I've (repeatedly) had on "repeat" on my iTunes this week includes the new (and curiously titled) Yo La Tengo album I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass -- the atmospheric instrumental "Daphnia" is proving to be a great rainy day song even as I type this. I've liked them seemingly forever (I used to go up and see them at Maxwell's quite a bit when I lived in pre-gentrified Jersey City during the late 1980s), and overall this is their best work, in my opinion, since 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. Also: brilliant (but sadly short-lived) trumpeter Lee Morgan's 1965 album Infinity (with Jackie McLean -- who died earlier this year -- on alto), and Herbert von Karajan's slowly-paced (and maybe a little overwrought) but still powerful recording of Mozart's Requiem. Good stuff.
- The photograph I took a week ago of that statue of Jesus and the twin towers of the WTC has taken on a life of its own. As of this morning, it's been viewed over 4000 times on Flickr, or 35 times more often than any of my other photos. Weird.
- I'm almost finished with Salman Rushdie's truly remarkable 1981 novel Midnight's Children. Now I know what all the fuss is about (it did receive that meta-Booker prize awarded in 1993, after all). And, for no particular reason, this week I've been re-reading Macbeth, which is always fun. I hadn't read any Shakespeare in a long, long time.
- Finally, I voted last night, and for the first time as a New Yorker. It was cool to use one of those hulking old voting machines -- there is something immensely satisfying (in a low-tech kind of way) about pulling that giant lever when you're done and hearing the mechanism clank deep within. (I'd used lever machines before in New Jersey, but from 1996-2004 I voted in Iowa, which uses optical-scanning devices). In keeping with the non-political nature of this blog I won't say who I voted for, but I can't say I'm unhappy with the overall results this morning.
Under the elevated subway tracks at Brighton Beach Avenue & Ocean Parkway
Mural in Brighton Beach
Along Nostrand Avenue in Midwood