MANHATTAN MOSAIC | A much needed day off


by Rachael

Today–today was much needed.

I woke at noon, muddled around the apartment, and made my way, desensitized, to my department on the West Side. Skipped down the concrete stairs, waltzed through security, passed Madison Square, passed the Flatiron building, and headed over into Chelsea, where I flashed my ID, spiraled up four stories of a staircase, and entered my classroom. Or I would have, but there was a sign on the door, of the room, up the stairs, past security, in Chelsea, past the Flatiron, past Madison Square, after dorm security, and down the concrete stairs. A sign that says “Class Canceled – Visuality in Modern Art – Oct. 1”

A day off. What would I do? What do people usually do? I hadn’t had a day off since September 3rd. I honestly considered picking up a shift at work. I was rattled. Instead of work I checked out a Canon Rebel from the technology department and made a mental map of where I’d go to shoot. (Not before taking advantage of my department’s free espresso machine, of course.)

Then, for the second time, I went down the spiral stairs, passed security, walked out of Chelsea, strode past the Flatiron building, cut through Madison Square Park, flashed my ID, and took the concrete stairs to my apartment. My apartment where my package was awaiting me. My package of books, signed, sealed, and delivered. (Submarine and The Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne, and Le Spleen de Paris by Charles Baudelaire)

After a bit more apartment muddling, I anticipated dusk as my shooting time and sauntered into my big city salvation — The East Village. Wandering around the East Village is like striding through Minneapolis’ Uptown for the first time, every time. All of the charm, none of the anticipation. There is no Hennepin. There is no Lyndale. But there is the constant battle to keep shops local, which had birthed groups such as No 7eleven.

I shot in Tompkins Square, and a mere 20 photos in the battery on my rental died. Urban exploration was clearly the next best option. Vegan cafes buzzing with Macbooks and macchiatos, eco shops spilling out handmade soap, dogs shouting, teens barking, and my impulse buy of a PVC free yoga mat.

Which leads us to now, writing this. And after, maybe some yoga, maybe some reading, maybe some tea, but undeniably, I have to annotate Hegel’s lectures on “The Concept of Religion.”

After a month of work, class, and melancholy movies, today, today was much needed.

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