1. New York (and Newark) really does have a different climate from Toronto. I was dehydrated all weekend and drank more water per day than I do in August. Sufficed merely to step onto a NJT train and my throat was at once parched.
2. Mind, arriving late Thursday evening I walked out of Newark Penn into a wintry wind and biting cold two months out of season. But that might have just been dislocation from the train ordeal: the same thing that made it hard to identify paleaswater's condo building because there was an utterly surrealistic Toronto Dominion bank sitting out in front of it. 'Fifteen hours on a train and I'm back home?' No. Evidently TDious is snapping up U.S. banks as if it were playing RL Monopoly.
3. Of course I was dislocated on coming home too. Had put my keys in a safe place before deaprting and couldn't remember what it was on returning. Had magneted my last paycheque to the fridge, as is my habit, but there it wasn't. Found my ativan stash depleted to a mere three when there should have been several dozen. As I was flailing about in my favourite fantod I have walked into a different dimension!, I noticed the cap on the ativan bottle was in fact off and the rest of the stash had emptied itself into the medicine/ supplements basket. Went upstairs to my bedroom and there on bedroom table were my keys, my paycheque, and the plastic I'd carefully emptied out of my wallet before leaving. Great relief, but the mind fuzz worries. Like the best wines, I do not travel well.
4. Speaking of heat, what *is* it with Bookoff? I was there an hour, in thin t-shirt and slacks, and wet through from sweat in five minutes. For that matter, why is Bookoff selling English manga and English books? Store's gotta make a buck, I suppose, and I was glad to get Flora's Dare for a dollar (though in my heat-struck mazedness I thought it was a more rational $13) but I feel my territory crumbling beneath my feet.
5. New Yorkers are big. No, scratch that. The people I saw in New York were big. They might be tourists, after all; they certainly don't look like people who spend their days walking and on trains.
6. The Met is overrun with people seeking culture, which is a nuisance when *I* am seeking culture and must stand in line five minutes to retrieve my coat from the coat check.
7. Vermeer's Milkmaid is smaller than you'd think, and glows with a pearly light that none of the reproductions captures.
8. Luo Ping, when not painting bamboo for his mentor Jin Nong, painted with his wife Fang Wanyi. Plum blossoms, naturally. A modern artist couple acquired a painting by Luo and Fang, and did their own, much more stylized, version of plum blossoms to place beside it. Ohhh sweeet.
9. Oh, that 'bureaucrats are assholes' kanji? paleaswater's honking big nine inch thick three-volume Hanzi For The Amateur hanzi dictionary, which is so amateur friendly it took her five minutes to remember how to *use* it (yappari Chinese = kowai), says it has something to do with crossed threads and looms. Hmph. That's PRC puritanism at work, sez I.
10. So, I said, if I don't finish that Sumeragi Natsuki manga about the (female) general and the dorky (male) officer before I go, then I must leave it in Newark because c'mon, four years is quite long enough. Did not finish it. Regret not finishing it, cheerful and sunny and yang as it is, because it might work as a corrective to Okano Reiko's general and dork which is the essence of misty and yin, and far too confusing for me to judge if it's basically cheerful or not. Wish someone would translate the thing into Chinese so other people could suffer with me, but I suspect the Chinese have too much sense. (Checks yesasia. Yes, quite. But yesasia would have me believe Onmyouji hasn't been translated either.)
11. The Rubin Museum (why is that i more elegant than 'Ruben"?) has finger puppets for sale-- Ganesh, Shiva, Buddha, Jung, Gandhi. Am told they're quite accurate even if Ganesh is a mite svelte and Shiva's snake looks like a green muffler about his neck. It also has a delightful-looking series of short films on December, which I fancy most NYers won't be able to get to any more than I can. Like Tokyo, I sometimes think-- all this marvellous stuff that most people can't see because of working hours or distance or both.
12. Am absurdly pleased at having figured where the A, E and 1 trains go and how to catch them. Still don't know nearly enough. Further study is indicated. I swear, NYC transit is more wakarinikui than Tokyo's. All sorts of signs at bus stops about what perks you get using exact fare, and never a hint of the salient detail of *what the fare is*.
13. I conclude that those living in or near NYC are strongly urged to take showers. The bath tubs are deep enough to, well, wash a two year old in safety. The deep long soak is clearly not the way to go there.
14. Rockefeller Plaza smells of horse. I saw no horses nor evidence of same in my trampings about it, looking for the non-extant Kinokuniya, but I smelled it strongly: right near the elevator entrance to the high price beef restaurant. Just sayin'.
15. Nice place to visit, NYC, but draining. It's always a relief to get back to paleaswater's downstairs apartment, a quiet and occasionally dim retreat with its elegant polished red-brown floors (that wood whose name *isn't* murmel: merbau?) and bookshelves of manga and high-pressured hot water in the shower.