Friday, February 19, 2010


You can't tell from this photo - or maybe you can - but this guy was really, really tall. I didn't manage to take a picture that effectively captured his beanstalk stature. Instead, in this one, you can see the crumbs on and around his mouth from the Valentine's Day cookies the people at Sweet Adeline's were giving away. He doesn't seem like a V-Day cookie kind of guy to me, but unlike most of us who said a grateful thanks and then put the cookie in our purses and backpacks, this guy ate his up in a few quick bites after he finished his cinnamon roll.

The way each employee came up to your table personally and gave you the cookie, all wrapped up with a pink ribbon, and smiled and said, "Happy Valentine's Day! I thought you might want..." made you feel like the chosen one, like there was something extra special about you that warranted the cookie being given to you. This man came in with 2 library books, pants that will never be long enough and a leather jacket. He looked kind of lonely to me, so I'm glad he got the cookie. And I'm glad he ate it right away.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


We were on a field trip to the Museum of Modern Art, on the number 8X bus headed downtown. It was one of those loooooooong buses whose two parts are connected by an accordion looking thing. This girl and her friends were in the back, ditching school, wearing her black hoodie and Old Navy hunting cap for her day out and about tagging city buses. We were in the back too. That's what you do when you get on a crowded bus. We were all standing there while these kids took out their fat markers and started tagging the same thing again and again.

"What?! You wanna take my picture? Get my good side!" The guy with the curly hair and badly bucked brown teeth said that while I openly photographed their exploits through the arms of my students and other city folk riding the Express. Most everyone ignored them or held a disgusted look on their faces while reluctantly taking in the criminal act.

They were rude and young and almost pityingly immature. At least she's not pregnant, I thought. I'd hate to be her kid.

At least she didn't look pregnant.

Once they got off, my kids looked like MLK, Mother Teresa and my cat all rolled into one. They tried to figure out what they could draw on top of the tags to make it look nicer, or what stickers they could come prepared with next time.

Nothing but unicorns could save that mess.

We had a really good docent at the museum. And except for the lost (and now returned) wallet, and the hummingbird who died after flying into the glass wall by the rooftop sculpture garden, it was a really nice trip.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Some of us have teeth while others of us have teefs. This woman, an important figure in the world of contemporary art, has the latter. I don't doubt she had the money to fix those things, but when you come into the world like that, live through the childhood teasing, tolerate the quiet, behind-your-back adulthood teasing, I suppose you might build up something of a strange pride around sticking with them for so long. Through thick and thin, out and about.

"Yeah, that's right. I've got teefs. And my picture is in MOMA next to the Matisses. Where you at?"
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