Showing posts with label moving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moving. Show all posts


Photograph: Ernie Childhood Toy Spotted at the Museum of the Moving Image

Ernie Puppet Topper Toys
I had this Ernie puppet toy growing up — it was manufactured by Topper Toys in 1972 — mine was a handme down from my older brother. I liked Ernie (better than Bert). Watching Sesame Street as a kid, Ernie was the lovable one while Bert was irascible and perennially annoyed. Ernie was definitely the better guy for me. The toy is made from rubber and polyester. What's the main idea? Toys influence a life. I felt a visceral response seeing this same toy in the Museum of the Moving Image @movingimagenyc.


Nazdrave: A Tale of One Guy's Moving to New York City

Ersatz Warhol prints adorn the wall.
     The house is cluttered with cookbooks and vinyl records. The sparest space is my room. The boxes I had mailed on Wednesday from the Uptown Station sit atop the bureau. “Yer gonna have to give Tony a bottle of Vodka for him hauling your stuff up here. Joking. Joking.” I am given the grand tour, given my keys, sign my rental contract, and within minutes we’re eating olives, goat cheese and downing shots of Johnnie Walker. Tony pours me a whiskey with one cube of ice. He stares into my eyes for a few seconds revealing a boyish character that I know I will come to love. “Nazdrave,” he says, and I repeat, “Nazdrave,” quickly learning the Bulgarian toast. I had said the German prost, but he politely informs me that in Bulgarian prost is derogatory. He clinks my glass a little bit too roughly. “You’re going to break the damn glass, Tony,” Becca says. “It’s good. Becca. It’s good.” Lonnie stands against the refrigerator. We’re changing places. I’m the new roomie. He looks me up and down, sizing me up, to make sure I am a decent enough replacement for the 8 X 11 I’ll be inhabiting.
     “So, you’re a teacher, huh?” I nod and mention something about English. Absorption mode is what I call my mental state at this point. Chrissy and her sister had just left. We ate a Reuben on the steps of the branch of the Queens library. They saw my room. “Good luck, Greig.” “Thanks,” I said. “I’ll need it.” I am comforted my name is printed in stencil beneath the doorbell. "Roselli." Words gather like dust. I memorize what I think I’ll need later. “Brave. He’s brave.” “Buy a month Metro card and don’t lose it.” “This is his first day. July first. 2010.” “Don’t let ‘em knock you down.” “You’re family.” “If you lose your keys, you’re locked out.” “Whatcha gonna do?” “Find out for yourself.” “Maybe you can water the plants when we’re gone.” “You live in Queens but you’re a New Yorker.” “Nazdrave.” We sit around the kitchen table and talk about why the W line has been discontinued. Lonnie says goodbye. I stand up to shake his hand. “I gotta go see my sister in Brooklyn,” he says, his accent a deep Long Island tone. Tony offers another toast. The two men hug. Becca hugs Lonnie. We shake hands again. He gulps the last of his Johnnie Walker, grabs a mouthful of cashews. “Lonnie, we’ll keep your stuff here. No problem. Keep in touch.” Becca straightens her hair. Tony pours me another drink. “If you don’t want any, Greig, just tell him. He’s like a little kid.” I feel like I am living in my head even though I am surrounded by people. I am not used to this at all. I ask to be excused. In the bathroom, I look at my section of the medicine cabinet. A subway map bathroom curtain attracts my attention. I find our stop. I look in the mirror. “Is this real?” I ask my reflection. My reflection laughs. I smile. I am a New Yorker now. 
     I tuck in my shirt and join the fray. Donovan walks in, the other roommate, donning what appears to be a seersucker suit. After introductions, Tony pours him a drink too. “Nazdrave.” Glasses clink. “Goddammit, Tony, don’t break the fucking glass.”


Should I Move Now? — On Moving from New Orleans to New York City

A view of Carrollton Avenue from the streetcar
As I peer out onto S. Carrollton Avenue where I've made my home for the past two years, I decide to rechristen my neighborhood, "The Path Where the Oaks Begin".
At the intersection of Palmer Park and Carrollton, the palm trees end and the oaks begin (but they end too, further down and over on St. Charles).

I came to New Orleans after ten years (more or less, with a brief hiatus abroad) living in St. Benedict, Louisiana.

There my life was directed by an horarium (literally) and circumscribed by a 1200 acre loblolly and part deciduous forest (we had both low-lying magnolias and tall proud pines).

I was a seminarian destined to be a Benedictine and a priest. But, that career choice did not quite bloom into a permanent life decision. My advent into the secular world was a half transition.

I had a car and a bachelor's pad but I still worked for the Church - a la the Christian Brothers.

I like to say my last two years as a civilian have been my own Teach for America.

I turned in my last lesson plan last week, said goodbye to my adorable students, and have decided to rid myself of Nola.

The next few weeks will be a transition time for me.

If you've been a faithful reader of stones of erasmus, I thank you.

I will continue to post, of course. I disconnected my home Internet so my online forays are limited to iPhone 3G splendor and desperate dashes to the corner hot spot (password: shangrila).

I'll try to document the transition to the best of my ability.

Be assured unsolicited words of encouragement are welcome.

P.S.: I'm not sure where I'll be living in the Big Apple but I'm eyeing anywhere along the Red line in the Bronx or even Morningside Heights. I've even considered Staten Island, Jersey City, and Harlem.


Prose Poem: "to leave"

to unsettle from place is fearful: fear eats the soul; they say face your fears, but isn’t place a barrier between us and our fears; a comforting worn thing set as a wall; for who really faces fears; except maybe the emigrant; moving away — but the death in facing back, like lot’s wife and her salt, or orpheus looking back — and I feel shame, like salt, and I feel evaporated … all those nice things I have come to like, to feel, I will have to give up so I can touch my belly again;