Monday, December 18, 2017

It was an unexpected day. I want to write about it but I'm falling over. I got stuck in Atlanta. We had to evacuate as there was an electrical grid outage. Long walk out through dark corridors all the way to baggage claim, must've been a mile walking through dark terminals filled with electrical smoke. Surreal. People having panic attacks. One person had a seizure. 

But then, amidst the chaos, in this one corridor, there was this beautiful art from Zimbabwe, stone sculptures, and I had stop and look. I couldn't not.

Finally got out of airport and into a hotel shuttle. We all got to talking in the van and I mentioned that I was going to miss my grandmother's funeral and there were warm sounds of sympathy all around. Then a grandmother said that she was going to miss her granddaughter's birth and that felt like poetic symmetry. Soon afterward this same woman had a kind of belated panic attack, laughing and crying uncontrollably and taking off her clothes. We rolled down the windows and she calmed down. After a long silence one of the men asked her if she was OK. She said she was fine now and he told her a story about how he was in the elevator with his grandmother when he was young and the elevator got stuck and she panicked and began to take off her clothes. So he said he'd been there before and he was cool with it. She said that was good to know.

Later in hotel I watched a very intense and surprising documentary about peyote on Viceland, then flipped to an old Perry Como Christmas special, with special guest stars The Carpenters. The special was my grandma's choice. Anyway, I kept feeling like my grandma was there watching it with me. Peggy Fleming came out spinning on the ice in a diaphanous white dress, a winter fantasia, and she was -resplendent- I could see why Charles Schultz always talked about her in Peanuts. Good choice, Grandma.

Afterward I walked down to the only restaurant around, Ruby Tuesdays, and they were so overwhelmed with unexpected customers that it took a couple hours to get seated and served. But the salad bar was great and they kept bringing around free margarita shots so it was all good. Plus there was the live version of "a Christmas story" on TV. It was laughably bad, though Maya Rudolph almost saves it. 

I was seated in the singles section and we all ended up sharing stories about the night. Lots of cathartic laughter all around.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


The 6 year old Lucia and the 9 year old Juliet have locked into a tableaux and Sofia is left out, so I take her on, and we have more fun by far. First we play wrestle fun time, a game where I try to push Sofia over (onto the bed) and she tries to stay on her feet. She beat me 3 sets, 11/12, 11/4  and 11/8. Next we improvised Heart and Soul on the piano for 10 minutes. And finally we put on this weird Elvis Costello/The Roots mashup record (packaged like a Citylights book) and danced. Or I'm dancing and she's along for the wild flying rollercoaster ride.

Yep yep yep

Monday, November 27, 2017


Want to start up again. In a pushing through the difficulty barrier kind of way. Building strength and body. 40 years in the forest.
Breakdown in class. Abject failure as a teacher.
Taught EB White's "Once more to the lake" and Annie Dillard's "Total Eclipse", both existential breakdown pieces. I read them to myself while the classes slept. Literally. Having my own solipsistic experience.
So to shake off the panic I dance. Only for 3 or 4 songs. Some playlist on Spotify. Tinariwin. Breaking through the cocoon of death.
Time to fight. 40 years. Then die in peace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


a pastiche of dances

Dancing home from teaching to Louis Armstrong singing the songs of WC Handy, care of Murakami's 1Q84 allusion to the music. And because he just died, to Fats Domino, "I'm walking," (could be the dance walking theme song.) And on my bike, and on the way to pick up the girls. And then to African Spotify playlist. Mother of a first grader in PS 150 walks up behind me and says she needs a little of what I've got. I'm a little embarrassed, but mostly okay. Always caught in that bind in this society.

I was listening to the African music because an African dance performance by Manekadang, "music as language," concurred with my E101 class, so we took a short field trip.

"In Africa music and dance are a way of living." --Maguette Camara, of Manekadang, at LaGuardia Community College. Now I want to move to Senegal. At least in spirit. Dancing all the time, as a way of life, that is the dream.

Here's a strange, but incredible piece of that performance.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Reading Murakami's 1Q84 and he has this great passage about Louis Armstrong playing the songs of W.C. Handy so I listened to it on the way home from teaching, feeling great, doing the 1,2,3 pause 4 suffle. Super good. Thinking to myself that I should make how-to YouTube video of how to Dance Walk. If I do it right...working backward here. This is one of my students. Imani. Psychedelic Palm Reading. Indeed. The arch above is at the entrance to the college. First time I'd noticed it, probably because of b&w photo challenge on FB, has me looking around. Anyway, it's sculptural, not structural, and I love how it looks like a harp, and a bridge, both excellent metaphors for education. The Woody Allen was up in the hallway, as were the international flags, also things I haven't noticed before.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Was in the graveyard on my morning walk dance and had the thought that though life is grand, feel like I'm working at level eight out of 10, that actually my eight probably looks like a two to someone who is really woke. Then this song by The Alabama Shakes came on and seemed to confirm and encourage

Started with the second fats domino record, been listing to him since he died a few days ago. Had no idea he was still alive. His music is interesting, Built more for comfort than speed, less a precursor of rock 'n' roll, and closer to rock steady, reggae in it's spirit

Sunday, October 22, 2017


After party at German Ben's I went with Quinn to Project Life in Woodside for an art opening. I danced at the party a bit, and then Quinn brought along a speaker so I dancewalked to Bill Withers and White Stripes on the way to the show and back home. H-"

Sunday, September 17, 2017


My mom is in town so I took her to a party at NYU's Skirball called "Aunts Is Dance", a free event, with several dance performances and a Free Boutique. The idea of the Free Boutique is that you bring something to the party to give away, and in return you shop among the other things people have contributed. It's a great idea. I forgot to bring something to add to the boutique, so I ran around SoHo until I came across the Magic shop, went in and bought several 7 sided magic dice and a pack of Magic cards to add to the mix.
On the way back to the theater I stopped to get a coffee. The barista had her back to me as I approached the counter. Then she spun around in a dramatic manner, put her chin on her hand and said, "What can I do for you, fine sir?" I said, "Wow, that's the best greeting by a barista I've ever gotten." She said, "I do what I can. I'm a professional." As a tip I gave her one of the 7-sided dice I bought. She said, "I always wanted one of these! Can I give you a hug?" Sure, so she came around the corner and gave me a big hug. "Sugar for my coffee," I said. Then the other barista, watching the whole thing, came out and gave me a card for a free coffee. Score.
I went back to the Free Boutique and picked out a gift for Gen and the girls, then we went into the space.
The first dance performance we saw was a naked woman in a superman flying position across the bottom rungs of a ladder. It was such an elegantly beautiful arrangement that it took a moment to take in the piece's implications. She continued to work her way around the ladder and strike poses in a sculptural and evocative way.
There were several other performances in this vein around the lobby and basement of the theater, but you couldn't go into the main theater itself. On the walls were monitors showing the performance inside the theater, a lone woman dancing on the stage, to an empty audience. We were all watching her from the lobby.
After the performances DJ br0nz3 g0dd3ss came out and everyone danced, we were inspired.
IFC was around the corner so afterward we went to see a movie, "Columbus," a film about architecture and family relationships, among other things, set in in Columbus, Indiana. It was so good that it made me fall in love with cinema all over again, the way great cinema can make you fall in love with life. There was just one sublime moment after another. Definitely see it on the big screen if you get a chance.
Finally we wrapped the night up by sharing a midnight Ramen and Sapporo at a local joint. My mom had never had Ramen before. She loved it.
A great NYC date night with mom.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017


Fall class playlist. I asked the students to tell me their favorite music and they did. Dancing to it on bike, then off. Called "fall class" on Spotify. Hot. Favorite track is Steve Aoki remix of Kid Cudi.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Beautiful dance this morning. Soooooooogoooooood. Haven't been out forever. Like coming out of a cave. And haven't danced like this for so long either, almost forgot I could. Caravan Palace Playlist on Spotify and suddenly I WAS Fred Astaire, on air, easy, now Gene Kelly swinging around a light pole, using whatever props on the street popped up as they scrolled by. When I passed someone I would feel myself withdraw a little, like a turtle, but then I self-corrected by pretending like everybody I passed was Ginger Rogers, the perfect dance partner, if only they knew it, and I was back in the flow.  

Treasure of the morning: Overnight some Frenchie made all of the Rite Aid parking spots for Parisiens only, using chalk. Fantastique.


Went to Socrates Park for a festival. Genevieve and I surprised ourselves by playing frisbee for a long time. At one point the giant speakers started playing Bob Marley's Exodus and I was dancing in heaven, catching and throwing the disc in the flow of the music, the girls running free.

Friday, June 16, 2017


Started the day out medition into work out into tennis. The Tennis was epic. Spawned this poem:

The Tennis Court Oaf

Today on the court he went from clumsy gat
to cross-court acrobat in one quick set

How? He put all of his breath into it
He put everything he had into every shot

He was trying to balance everything with nothing

It means everything as it is happening
and nothing when its over

Those lines either
bear repeating often

or saying never

Love Love



I felt more than once on the court that I was in my body like a dancer. More of that please!

Then tonight, one of those magic dances with the girls to Kidz Bop Kidz classics. Uptown Funk gonna give it to you. A ways off from Funkadelic, but highly danceable nonetheless. We followed each other's moves. Sofia had some pretty impressive floor moves. Kept me off my toes. 

Friday, April 28, 2017


I'm walking in the cemetery Calvary Cemetery, trying to dance, it's been a while, right when I enter in a lady in a hatchback an old Russian woman pulls up next to me and tells me not to listen to my headphones, because it will hurt my ears, I said thank you I will keep it down, she said, no, even then, not a good idea to jog with headphones on. I said thank you. She drove next to me for a while and watched me and then slowly moved ahead, but very slowly watching me in her rear view for about five minutes. Then bothered by my own commentary on a friend's poem on Facebook I stopped to change it, and realize the more I try to change my comment the deeper I'm digging myself. then I see a sculpture, relief, inside try to dance again but I stop when I see a relief on a gravestone, it's the likeness of a young girl who died at seven years old in 1939, and I see all of the pain of the father there, it is too much to bear, just then I get a text from Quinn saying I thought you might like to listen to this, it's a DJ set from WFMU. The first song is an exhortation to check your mind, over and over again, check your mind, I am checking my mind and it is not as sound as usual, and so I am leaving the cemetery, I am walking away and suddenly there is a loud terrifying sound behind me, a horn, I turn around and it is a cart full of cemetery workers, and there was no reason to honk, they could have easily driven around me, it was just a form of violence. Check your mind!