Wed, 22 Sep 2004

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I don't know if it's just the change in environment, the fact that I have so many good memories attached to this city, the fact that I'm not under the crushing oppression of working 12-30 hour days, 6 days a week, or the fact that I'm no longer deathly ill and sneezing out thick, brown snot, but I feel a lot more alive now. And I'm not really doing anything. I'm actually spending a lot of time on the internet, hunting down random mashups and bootlegs, walking around the tourist areas and doing a lot of window shopping, and checking out the Museums. On Saturday I revisited the Met, which I realize makes my head spin after three hours, and yesterday I headed up to the very northern tip of Manhattan to see Tryon Park and The Cloisters. That was nice, but a little disorienting. It's strange to have religious iconography somewhat decontextualized. I don't know if it's the conscious realization that this is a museum and not a sacred place that does this. The other disturbing thing there are the unicorn tapestries, which depict the hunting down and the killing of a unicorn, which can be seen as an allegory for the crucifixion of Christ.

Maybe it's also because I'm getting lots of sleep and plenty of exercise. I've been averaging about 12 hours, including a late afternoon/early evening nap (I'm still on Pacific Time, so this corresponds well with the mid-day dip). I'm probably walking a couple miles a day or so, including hustling up and down the stairs in the subway stations.

I really miss the city (not just this city, but the archetypal construct of The City), but I guess, doing what I'm doing, I wouldn't get to see the city much anyway, whereever I went, and the weather would make me more miserable than I'd like to be.

My question is, why didn't they build real cities in hospitable climates?

Anyway, trips like these always make me listen to pop music for some reason, and walking into the clothing stores exposes me to all this techno and trance stuff, so I'm just happily searching the Net and the iTunes Music Store for things that pop up. This also happens to be my first trip to New York where I've had my iPod with me. At first I was apprehensive about screwing around with it while on the subway trains. I don't actually think I'm going to get ripped off in the middle of the day with all these tourists milling about, but there's often very little clearance, and sometimes you need both hands to brace yourself against accelerations and decelerations. But then I noticed the practically everyone has an iPod here (by the tell-tale white earbuds.)

It's strange, when I lived in Chicago, I'd go everywhere with my iPod. Wicker Park, the Mag Mile, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, the Blue Line, the Red Line. It was my own personal soundtrack. But here in NYC, there's something soothing about the city noise. Probably it's just because I've gotten used to wandering the streets and the subways without any musical accompaniment.

I realize that it gives you the illusion of isolation, too, revealing my underlying Angeleno roots. This is apparently something other Angelenos prize, being able to live entirely in their cars, being stranded on the 405 with literally hundreds of other people and yet not being able to interact with a single one of them. It kind of makes me sad, but having grown up there, I guess it's an instinctual tendency. Really, no one walks in L.A. There was an article in the L.A. Times about this guy who decided to make it his quest to go up and down all the major city streets in the Southland, and he commented on how there are hardly ever any other people around. Not even homeless people.

If I do follow the path of least resistance (well, least resistance in some ways. Certainly not financially) and end up living in L.A., I will try my damndest to live next to a subway or light-rail station. I'm excited that they're going to build the Gold Line extension to the Eastside. Now all they need if the go ahead for the Expo Line to the Westside, and we're talking about the beginnings of a viable public transportation system.

Sometimes I wonder if I should've just gone into transportation engineering.

Well, that was a random walk through my brain. It's nice to have the time to ramble, these days.

07:29:02 22 Sep 2004 > /soul > permalink > 1 comments

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Name/Blog: meme fefe
URL: mailto:hots2bme@iam.com
Title: brain and music
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