Something strange is happening with my main MP3 player, beyond bad data on a small number of MP3 files from the giant hard drive recovery - that part doesn't bother me because I can replace everything from my main computer, the original CDs, or other digital downloads. The strange thing is sometimes it'll play half a song and then skip to the next one, even if the file itself is perfectly normal. It's a fairly old player as MP3 players go, so maybe that's where the strangeness is coming from. If that's the case, I can accept it. Not that I'll like it. Just that I'll accept it.
Other than that, and work being fairly slow and frustrating in ways that had nothing to do with each other, a few really nice things happened today. I finally ate at Lupe's East LA Kitchen, which was exactly like a tiny spot of California tucked away in New York City - the second such one I've found - whose California vibes were made even stranger and stronger when the staccato sunshowers finally ended, leaving the air clean and cool, exactly like it should be. My brothers and I ate by an open window, and I leaned my elbow out and drank a pineapple mojito and felt all right for a little while.
I also stumbled over a pair of houses up the street from Lupe's that, amazingly, had backyards. Old houses
, National Registrar of Historic Places old
, from the early 1800s, both with open space behind them visible from the adjacent driveway-alleyway. Left to their own devices, the grass was taken by weeds and the trees loom over the house. In one, foundations of something are still visible, the erected structure long since gone; in the other, an empty freestanding wooden trellis and a dry, tiered fountain. Basically, if Ganesh walked out of one of the houses into the backyards, I wouldn't have been surprised. (He only lives a few blocks north on Crosby
, after all.) Even more amazingly, they had fireflies. Fireflies, tucked away in a little forgotten spot that shouldn't be there but is just right as it is.
After dinner my brothers and I went looking for the Ghostbusters firehouse, and on the way found Manhattan's smallest museum
, similarly tucked away. It was closed, so all we could do was peer through the glass.
Because I had time in between work and dinner, I wandered a bit, which included a detour through Washington Square Park, where someone gave me a little bit of birdseed that I used to attract pigeons over and entice them to sit in my outstretched hands to eat. Then I stood still so they'd stay, and more would come. And maybe it's that I volunteer with birds and they sense that, or maybe it's because I've fed them before and they recognize me, or maybe I was nonthreatening enough that more did come. Lots more. My arms are still a little scratched up. They landed and sat up and down my arms, and a few even walked over my shoulders or my chest to get from one side of me to the other. And they were so nice, and warm, and didn't think I was anything to be afraid of, and I think it was nine or ten, all told, at the height of the madness.
Rain like today's in New York City doesn't happen where I grew up. It's not something I've really been able to get used to - rain at this time of year, warm summer rains, rain that stops and starts and stops and starts instead of happening or not. There's no season
for rain. It just comes when it comes, even if I can see the sun shining on a building just a block away from me. Even if I can see the sun shining in the sky. It doesn't swallow the world, just breezes on through it. And during the in between moments, before it finally left, when it was a brief moment of light mist instead of genuine precipitation, the combination of the shimmer in the air and sky caught the light to soften it, just a little bit, just enough to let you know there's always something new to see.