Walk to Mysore, April 8th, West Village (well, W15th).
Didn’t notice graphic on flyer until viewing these.
So, I introduce a neighbor and he disappears. Gone. That’s New York for you. Now that the Turk is over, John is usually the first person I see each morning whom I know well enough to greet. He’s there six days, but not before, oh, eight am. We never really said more than a ‘Hi’ until one day I was coming back and he asked me if I got off work early. I told him no, I was at yoga.
“Yoga? What’s yoga?”
How refreshing that there are people in NYC who do not know what yoga is. I explained (“exercise”), and he offered me part of his sandwich. I declined as I was headed home for breakfast.
I asked what union he’s in and he answered, “Why?” I told him why, and we had a short chat. I haven’t been walking that way as much partly because the Turk is gone and partly because I’ve been frequenting a different neighborhood. Nevertheless, John is a local favorite.
Mysore is a city in India. It is also a name given to Ashtanga yoga when practiced traditionally, in a shala (school) with an authorized teacher, with a set sequence given to you by your teacher, at your own pace, on your own breath. Unlike most yoga classes, it is not led, with everyone doing the same thing at the same time. Mysore takes its name from the home of Ashtanga and pilgrimage place of Ashtangis, Mysore, India.
Ashtanga is practiced six days a week. My shala is open five, and we fend for ourselves the sixth. Each weekday, I walk to and from the shala for Mysore practice, 1.2miles (~2km) from home. In January 2012, in an attempt to shoot more, I started carrying a point and shoot with me at all times. Not necessarily to Mysore, but everywhere. In October, my schedule and shala changed, and my subway ride became a walk. Because it is daily, at my most focused time of day, a series of photos began: The Walk to Mysore. It’s also the walk from Mysore, which can include different paths. Sometimes I carry my DSLR but with the weather and light so dreadful this time of year, I usually can’t be bothered. The shot of this dog waiting for his owner to get coffee is with my point and shoot (a Canon S95).
Photography has always been something that brings me into the moment (except, perhaps, the few years I worked full time as a photog). It also makes me happy. Seeing something that strikes my interest and playing with it via the camera brings me joy. I’ve noticed that on these walks, a few shots can turn my mood around. I’ve often heard the argument that photography does the opposite, takes the seer out of the moment, by looking for a photo or trying to freeze time instead of just being with what is there. This may be true, and may be more true for some than others. Perhaps if you are on a trip and feel the need to snap away to show others you were there—but this is not photography, and the result is not interesting. Yes, there are definitely moments when it’s time to put down the camera. Personally, I’ve found that photography brings me far more into the moment than writing does. Not the moment of actual writing, when there’s little choice, but the stories I write in my head when walking down the street, when I see something funny I want to share. As it is told and retold in my mind, how much accuracy have I retained? How much have I missed passing by? As a form of creativity, I don’t see this as inherently bad. I just notice the power photography has to bring me into the moment and open my eyes. It’s inaccurate to say that photography is not an act of awareness. We don’t hear people complain that writers aren’t in the moment because they are crafting stories in their heads, but it is perfectly true.
The shot below is with DSLR.
My schedule is not the same every day, and some mornings I leave hours earlier than others. I notice the difference in light, not just because of sunrise, but because of season, and how the camera will write it. Some mornings I finish practice by 8:30, others not until 11a, so I can be on the streets anytime between 6:30–11:30am. I see how the city changes over those hours. The temperature, the light, and who fills the streets. As a morning person, I’ve long known that NYC is not a 24-hour town. Yes, the subways are open and you can get sustenance around the clock, but the city rests from ~4am–7am. You are more likely to find people out and pizza joints open at 3am than 6am. At 6am, construction workers and school teachers head to work and only large delivery trucks are on the streets. At 7am one day last week, I was almost mowed down by the Astor Place MUDTRUCK zooming into position. By 9am the streets are full of all sorts rushing to work.
If I leave early I miss John, a construction guy, and the dogs waiting for coffee outside of Le Pain Quotidian, but I usually get a peek at my morning Turk, even if CafeTiNY isn’t quite open when I pass. He was the first person I noticed regularly on my walks, followed by the construction guy. Then the mentally-ill homeless woman who lives on E 8th Street just east of Fifth Avenue. She is usually asleep on my way to Mysore, and awake, drinking coffee and talking to herself, on my way back.
I have relationships with these people, if only in my mind, and some days the desire to see them pulls me unto my usual path, instead of taking the other fastest route, or any of the 9 streets or 6 avenues that would get me there almost as quickly. Those of you who cherish the guys at your deli or barista at your cafe know the feeling. I’m more likely to alter my route back, for variety, to meet a friend for breakfast, run an errand, or visit with Nasreddin. Or go to the dentist. It’s been four and a half months now on these walks (I was at a different shala before, and I took the train. There were some photos, but it was earlier. Too early for creativity), and I have lots of images and some stories.
A few separate essays have popped up within the Walks. The first is Love Graffiti. Much of it is shot in SoHo, on my Saturday walk to another studio, but some my favorites are from the FALAFEL SHWARMA building on the corner near the shala. Another is yet-to-be-edited everGreen, Christmas trees left out on NYC’s sidewalks awaiting trash pickup. Ah yes, New Yorkers’ nod to nature.
It’s been a cold, cold winter that requires many layers of clothing and fortitude. Above, I return from practice and a trip to the grocery store, trusty point and shoot in hand, on one of our many sub-freezing January days.
Okay, I did leave on the late side today, but LOOK! the shadows are getting longer on the walk to Mysore. This, groundhogs, means that maybe this winter nonsense will move on soon.
I’ve had a few important moments of late, three involving the three people I see regularly on my walk. All involve that wrapping of symbols and thoughts and images into being. I’d hoped to have the love graffiti ready as your Valentine, but, well, we’ll see. I’m just delighted to get these up the day they were shot. That never happens.
I especially love that the chewing gum has endured.
Hey! The coconut is moving to a different server, so if you have subscribed by email, you’ll need to resubscribe on the next post (I’ll remind you). The site will be down for awhile (not long) while the internet finds the new address. The site has a bunch of broken images links, due to the move. They’ll work at the new home. Til then, xo.
It was 11 degrees (“feels like -2″) on my walk to Mysore this morning. Twenty-five minutes. At least the sun was out. When I opened my front door to head out, I was greeted with this: The Luxury Rental Girlfriend by Lisa Taddeo. A woman.
I don’t really get the article and why this phenomenon is observed as any different than prostitution which, as far as I understand it, is nothing new. The subtext here is that women (you know, the kind you don’t hire) are needy. They need attention. And commitments. And you know, maybe some respect.
“The Erotic Review, or TER, which is Yelp for the sex trade, where johns trade information about the escorts and offer specific statistics….More than one guy at a time? Full, no-rush session?”
I admit that I’m not sure if that means she’ll have sex with more than one guy at a time, or if she has more than one client over a period of time, but I believe the latter. After all, there’s no mention of more than one woman at a time, right? Now that’s interesting. A man might not want his hooker to see more than one john? What? He’s jealous? He wants a Saturday night date? He wants a commitment? Wow. Needy.
We never get to hear about that, do we? About how fucking needy men are in relationship? Because it’s just such a pleasure for women to nurture, isn’t it. But statistics say, in myriad studies, that married men are happier and healthier than unmarried men of the same age and income. And unmarried women are happier and healthier than their married counterparts. And some whopping % of divorces of couples over 50 are initiated by women, and not because of infidelity. So why isn’t this part of the story?
Hmmm. I almost feel selfish saying that. Seriously. And that’s part of why we don’t hear it, because a woman who says it is clearly selfish. But Jack is painted as a total nice guy just trying to find some peace and a boob to touch, should he feel the urge. My gawd, he’ll even make you any drink you want! (Wow.) Selfish?
But Jack, like, you’re not in the nursery anymore. Everyone has needs. And it’s kind of part of adulthood to respect others’ as much, if not more, than your own. Everyone, not just men, likes to give more when it isn’t expected of them. (There’s a great youtube video by Dan Savage about this sort of thing.) This article is quite the morality tale. It’s really gross. And super glad the tempeh-cooking yoga teacher got a mention. Ugh. And contrary to the story, Jack could not have any woman he wanted. Ewww. I mean quick, count. How many women do you know who wouldn’t go near him for all the money in the world? Exactly.
Wait, what is it? A food truck? Well, yes, it’s juice squeezed between two small-but-heavily-tilted ass cracks on a food truck! So appetizing! Breakfast anyone?
I am so confused.
After I got home and looked at the photo, I saw “The Squeeze.” Are you meant to squeeze their asses? and get, ah, juice?
This is me and advertising. Or is this branding? Or is there a difference? I’m just so lost and don’t get it. I usually can’t even make out what’s for sale. What a delight to walk home, minding my own business, and see this massive thing before me, appropriately parked in front of Lululemon. Nothing really says class and respect like headless, ass-only women squeezing you juice out of their tiny asses.
Did you notice the little hatted head inside the window, between the butts? Now that’s a job.
Those aren’t even squeezable asses, for gawd’s sake.
After the hurricane, I didn’t go up to my roof deck. I was too upset by the storm and the sleazy dentist who, in the midst of the horrible week without power, told me that the only way to fix my broken tooth was to get an implant. I was told it would “jeopardize” the tooth next to if they tried to restore it. You might immediately sense that was bullshit, especially if they made you put the $3100 on your credit card right then and there, before getting the implant (the same day as extraction? I was clueless) and being sent off to teach for four hours. “Oh, yes, it will be fine!”
You might of known better, but you also might have had power, internet, heat, hot water, transit, and an unbroken tooth. Since I was leaving for PR in less than 48hrs and didn’t want a mercury filling hanging in my mouth all week and I had no way to research without internet, no time to go to and from Queens, well, I decided to trust them. That was the biggest mistake I made in a long time. That the surgeon, who, wasn’t I lucky? just happened to be in that day looked more like a used car salesman than a surgeon should have tipped me off, but you know. I just wanted my tooth fixed safely. I didn’t want to jeopardize another one to what, $4000 more dollars? They also lied about the cost and overcharged me a grand.
I’ll leave the rest of the story for later, as of course I’m fighting the swindle. I want my tooth back. I saw another dentist with the xrays and was told it could have been safely restored and my insurance would have paid for every penny. They don’t cover the implants, not “because they say it’s cosmetic” as the sleazy dentist asserted, but because there is a much cheaper way to fix it. Now I’m out a perfectly good tooth, went through a lot of pain, and out thousands of dollars so these assholes, who make ten times what I do a year, could make some cash. GROSS.
Anyway, because of this ordeal, I couldn’t bear to see if my roof deck had been blown to Brooklyn. But finally it was time to store the a/c, so I went up. Not only was it more or less intact, with things blown about a bit (see above) but the hurricane left a gift! A massive six by four foot thing of some assuredly famous guy, with a big cutout in the middle. What is it? Who is it? I don’t know. Daniel said it was George Clooney. Of course! Krissy said, no, it’s the guy from Sex in the City. Okay! I’m still not sure. But what are the chances this weird thing would land in my tiny deck? From where? From what heights? Dunno. I’ll trade it for a tooth, though.
I try to take my point & shoot with me everywhere, especially on my morning walk to Mysore. I’ve a small series going. When I don’t carry it, it’s regrettable. As with the yeti hanging from a San Fernando Valley FEMA ambulance rear view mirror last week. I do have a cell snap. Will post.
Aqui the men and women admire desire
and never get tired of each other
~Pedro Pietri, Puerto Rican Obituary