- Four WATCH assignments fulfilled for the year, another seven to go.
Category Archives: Like Life
In 1999, I had a consulting gig that took me to New York frequently. On my last trip up there (which turned out to be the week of Hurricane Floyd [have I told you the story about the clueless D.C. cab driver?]), a music festival had hoovered up all the hotel rooms in Manhattan, so I found myself in a place called the Pan American in Queens. The matchbook cover that I saved touts it as New York City’s Most Convenient Hotel. Uh, no.
But it turns out that this patch of Queens, still known as Newtown, must have been the place where great-ancestor Josse had his farm in the very early 1700s. Gorsline Street runs one block, from 51st Avenue to Kneeland Avenue. As you can see, it’s beautifully kept Archie Bunker territory; it could easily stand in for Hauser Street.
Another hurricane story. The night that Isabel came through town in 2003 (downgraded to a tropical storm by then, but you could have fooled me), the Norway maple that shaded the ground between my house and my neighbor’s thrashed and flailed and generally sounded as if it wanted to crawl in my bedroom window for shelter. Finally, a shattering crack rang out, and I think I heard somebody yell, “Holy cow, look at that!”
A cleanup crew promptly showed up and reduced the entire thing to a stump and chips. My townhouse cluster never has replaced the tree. The Morrissettian irony is that I had just given up on trying to grow flowers that liked sun under the maple, and had just planted a little shrub that liked shade.
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 14:53:28 -0500
Subject: They don’t know us as well as they think
To: “David L. Gorsline”
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Amazon wants me to give you a bunch of Frank Sinatra for Valentine’s Day.
Because I love you more than that, I won’t.
A holiday weekend affords some time to scan some old photos.
The bascule Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria. Today, it’s in the process of being replaced.
Where else in the world but Portland would you find an official city park the size of a manhole? Welcome to Mill Ends Park.
I found a couple of performance spaces in the Smith Center that I hadn’t been to before, unless I’ve lost track.
- Jammin’ Java, Vienna, Virginia
- Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center, College Park, Maryland
- Lang Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, D.C.
- Marinoff Theatre, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia
- Kogod Theatre, Clarice Smith Center, College Park, Maryland
The year-end roundup posts continue. Overnight stays in 2013:
- Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota
- Natural Bridge, County, Rockbridge County, Virginia
- Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia (3 visits)
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- Manhattan, New York County, New York (also)
- Kennett Square, Chester County, Pennsylvania
The backlog has been reduced a bit, but there are new titles here (thanks, Leta!) and some more volumes on order. The play collections are probably the longest-tenured books on the shelf. I started the Kate Atkinson, hence I removed the dust jacket, but I only got about three pages in before something else tempted me more.
Leta and I spent most of our time at Longwood Gardens in the controlled environment of the conservatory, while the rain washed the outside. One of the destination plants of the conservatory is this single individual bread palm, Encephalartos woodii; the species is extirpated in the wild. Each of this cycad’s bright orange cones, each larger than a loaf of bread, is a pollen strobilus.
My copy of Chris Ware’s Building Stories has been sitting on a shelf—well, lying on the floor propped up against a shelf—for months, too pretty to unwrap. This afternoon I finally had some time to clear off the coffee table and take a few snaps of the unpackaging.
Just as I act on stage “for fun,” and I’m reluctant to engage in paid work because of the baggage that comes with it, I’m perfectly happy to record textbooks on a volunteer basis. But I think it’s great that the growing audio books industry is keeping some professional actors afloat.
Entertainer’s Secret? Gotta get me some of that stuff.
I’m back with NPR for a short gig, working on- and off-site. As Scott Simon reported this morning, NPR is relocating from its Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. building (really two buildings stitched together: on the 5th floor, there’s a two-stair difference between the blunt end of the building and the Tiny Desk Concerts venue at the “skinny end” where Bob Boilen sits) to new digs on North Capitol Street.
My consultant’s badge for my new client has this awesome legend on the back:
All Authorities are requested to cooperate in facilitating the movement and emergency mission of this bearer.
Well, “awesome” isn’t quite the word for it. “Humbling” is better: a reminder that some people work at a job where they don’t get to come home every night to a warm bed and a roof.
Hmm. I see a lot of these titles are still on the shelf from last time.
As I was looking for pics of Mom, I found pictures of the Austin America (the one that I crunched). Something in the chronology is wrong here: the date on the edge of the print says 1970, but I would have been only 14 then. Did we really shoot pictures of me behind the wheel when I wasn’t legal? Also, I’m not sure when it was that we lived in the house on Roy Avenue, which you can see in the background. Was it 1970 or 1972? I remember hanging out in the semi-finished attic, reading David Copperfield for class, so maybe it was 1970.