April 17th, 2009

goldsworthy - branch

Good Morning!!

I wake at 3:30 when USA Today is shoved under the door so decide to rise and contemplate yesterday.

It was an exciting day, manufactured like religion to lift the heart and build a sense of belonging and community.

I am in awe of Yankee Stadium.  It is beautifully done and retains the character of the old while bringing in the new.  Of course the new is corporate and I am so inundated with advertising at this point that I feel like I may sink under the weight of it.

I understand that Terry Dunn of Tishman Speyer is the reason Yankee Stadium finished on time or at all. 
I was pleased to meet him and think he deserves a round of applause.  There has been discussion about whether the building of Yankee Stadium deserves as much publicity as the team.   Well, I say, yes, it does.  It is quite an accomplishment in this era of rules and regulations and though my understanding is that it will be a month before all punch lists are complete, it looked impressive to me, and my heart beat rapidly from the first look on.   

I saw Yankee supporters in action.  Though everyone already seemed dressed in Yankee blue with shirts, hats, and jackets, there were lines to enter the gift shops, and lines for the opportunity to buy the $15.00 program, which was mainly advertising.  I was there for the building, the 1.5 billion dollar stadium and I was impressed.   My heart pounded with excitement.  Of course, the band at the entry helped with that and the enthusiasm of the fans.  

I did feel I was in the Roman coliseum at times and there is concern the ticket prices will mean a loss of character.  I understand that those in the bleachers were informed they could not drop peanut shells on the ground.   We ended up with an extra ticket so my brother was there, too, which was fun, as he is a Yankees fan.  He explained that baseball is about the smell of the grass and the crunch of the bat as it hits the ball.  I'm not sure how many get to smell the grass or hear that crunch, but there is certainly plenty to entertain.   It is masterful and I was reminded of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's words on why women have supported church attendance over the years.  It is a time to be with yourself and baseball allows time in the same way, time to observe, reflect, commune, feel part of something while being alone with your thoughts.  It is also a good excuse to be away from work.  

I find it amazing the number of people required to create a building like this and was reminded of the movie Breaking Away about those who quarry the limestone for the buildings we see.  I also wondered on how many swear words Yankee Stadium is built.  The developer, architect, consultants and construction people need to come to some sort of agreement.

Michael Pollan's book, A Place of my Own:  An Architecture of Daydreams, is a wonderful look at what is required to build even a teeny-tiny structure.  I see it has three stars on Amazon, but I give it five and re-read it periodically to balance the world of design and possibility, to appreciate what it is to build a structure and honor the landscape and view.

I loved the entertainment yesterday, the music, jets, and John Fogarty, the honoring of the players and history, and this poem also reverberated through my head.   We come together and we fall apart as do our works of art.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


alan - lilies in the shade

Friday morning -

After breakfast, I walked to Central Park and enjoyed wandering through it.  Tulips and daffodils are out and the blossoms are gloriously white and shiny in the early morning sun.  I felt like I could see the leaves emerging on certain trees, like furry caterpillars come to life.   We are heading out on the train very soon to CT to stay with my brother and his family for the weekend.

I am glad.  NY is crowded with tourists, and the pace and noise are too much for me.  I read a column in the NY Times today on things to do with children.

It says "You don't have to leave New York City to explore the wilderness.  The New York Botanical Garden's grounds and 50-acre forest are the sites of several family events in which to discover nature."   I sat next to a little two foot tree in a pot yesterday and spoke with it.  I felt we were both needing a little more green.  I find Esalen claustrophobic, too many people squeezed in too close to the cliff, so you can imagine how I feel about calling cultivated and well-planned grounds a wilderness.  I understand that we humans are nature, and I like feeling what goes on within, but sometimes I need a little more nature, so I am ready to catch the train out of town.   The car horns seem to be more prevalent today
Perhaps everyone is in a hurry to escape.  

I think it is the constant hum that amazes me, even in the park.  It is like living in a bee hive.   I am imaging myself as a bee scout looking for some flowers on which to alight so I can find some pollen looking for a ride.