Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The park by City Hall, NYC

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

I did some research yesterday morning on options for holistic/integrative care, then packed up and headed for the train station. I panicked when I realized I’d left the iPod at home, but, hey, deal, right?

Ride in was fine. I took a few photos of Grand Central station — I’ve walked through it thousands of times over the years, but never photographed it. Got a metro card, played with one of the bomb-sniffing dogs, got on the subway.

It’s been so long since I spent any time in the city that I got all confused about the subways. I took the #6 to Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall, which was fine. Realized that I got One Centre Street confused with the Old Customs House — the building I wanted. Took some photos around the courthouses, the old locations where we shot the LAW & ORDER spin-off CONVICTION. Walked down Broadway, a few blocks east of Ground Zero, to Bowling Green and the old Customs House, which is now the Native American Museum.

Graveyard at Trinity Church

Passed St. Paul’s, where they did a lot of the ministry, took the bodies, and fed the workers right after 9/11. By the way, they’ve recently reopened the search for remains AND ARE FINDING THEM in the debris stacked in Fresh Kills from 9/1l. Also passed Trinity Church, in whose graveyard I did camerawork for a fellow student’s project while in film school.

I love how they give directions to the museum: “It’s behind the bull.”

And so it is.

Some writer I admired once worked here, when it was really a customs house, but damned if I can remember which one.

I LOVE being a member of the Smithsonian. This museum is one of their museums, and the quality of curation and the quality of personnel at the Smithsonians are always fantastic.

The building is beautiful. The exhibit about the Horse in Native American culture was wonderful. Of course, as a wardrobe person, I was especially fascinated by the beadwork on leggings, dresses, saddles, and saddle blankets.

There was a very disturbing art exhibit called “Skin as Metaphor” — hadn’t heard about it. It’s certainly disturbing and controversial — using hides and skin for art, whether it’s something like tattooing — or other things. It was so disturbing I didn’t spend much time in it, but I wonder why it hasn’t gotten more coverage in the media — it’s certainly provocative in the RIGHT way — not provocation just to create controversy, but it has something to say and makes you think and reconsider perspectives — which is what good art should do.

Picked up a Dakota-English dictionary that was 75% off, and about $7 — I have a weakness for dictionaries — I use them in world-building. So I bought that, although I knew it would be a pain to cart a dictionary around all day. Also bought a magnet of a turtle sand painting that spoke to me. I picked up another book I really wanted — and then remembered picking it up in the museum in DC, but couldn’t remember whether or not I bought it. I felt like a moron. So I put it back. They said I could call them and they’d ship it to me. Which is exactly what I have to do, since it turns out that I picked it up and put it back in DC instead of buying it!

Headed back up Broadway. Was thirsty, but didn’t want Starbucks, because, well, it’s Starbucks. Found Bean on Bean, a small, organic cafe, and got an iced coffee — fantastic. Walked north, skirting LIttle Italy and Chinatown, walking figure eights through Tribeca and Soho.

I’m glad I walked this area for the urban fantasy. It looks really close on the maps, but when you walk it, it’s much more complex getting from Point A to Point B in that area. And, since most of the streets are one-way — I would have made some awful mistakes if I hadn’t walked it — the kind of mistakes that cause me to stop reading/buying an author’s work.

I passed the location trucks of whatever shooting’s near Federal Plaza — probably one of the current LAW & ORDERS — in the spot we always parked the vans for our location shoots, and where I’ve set the fictional location shoot in the urban fantasy.

I was looking for an alley where I could set the bar for the urban fantasy. Problem is, New York City doesn’t have many alleys anymore — as stuff’s been pulled down and built back up, the alleys have been destroyed. I think there are some on the Lower East Side, around the Tenement Museum, but that location doesn’t work for me. It has to be in walking distance of the courts/federal buildings. I found one — and I think I’ll expand on it somehow. Otherwise, there are hints of a couple of them along the Soho/Little Italy fringes. I’m going to have to do some vamping, stretch a little geography, rework those chapters in a way that makes them believable. I think I’ll have the alleys be a labyrinth in the dreams, with specific architectural landmarks that show up in the truncated alley that is believable and more similar to the ones I really found.

I found a couple of possible contenders for the building Louis lives in. I prefer the location of the first building, but I like the arched windows of the second. I found them in Tribeca, the neighborhood in which I want him to live. He’s a television actor — he’d live in an expensive place in Tribeca.

Headed back east, and then north over Houston, into my old stomping grounds on the eastern fringes of NYU. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be an NYU alum, because they are such poor caretakers of Greenwich Village, tearing down gorgeous buildings to put up chunky, ugly behemoths reminiscent of the bad 1960’s and 1970’s architecture. Anyway, headed across E. 9th Street to Whiskers, one of the premiere holistic pet stores in the country.

Talked to one of the owners about Elsa. He gave me a referral to an integrated care center that specializes in cancer treatment with holistic options. He also said anything I needed as far as diets and supplements that I couldn’t get near me, they’d ship, no problem. Whiskers has never steered me wrong, and any time I didn’t take their advice, I regretted it. He agreed that multiple procedures under anesthesia culminating in radiation may not be the best choice, and is certainly not the only choice.

I felt much better after talking to them.

Considered eating a Cloisters Cafe, one of my former hangouts (I’ve got a scene from the TAPESTRY serial set there). Was in the mood for a burger, but they don’t come with fries, and the fries cost nearly as much as the burger. Uh, no. Plus, they’re now also a hookah bar, and I just wasn’t in the mood to be around that.

Crossed back to the West Village. Some dumb-ass tried to sell me a nickel bag of heroin on Waverly Place (hey, I paid attention all those weeks on Grand Jury listening to narcotics cases). I said to the guy, “Don’t you know how bad that shit is for you?” and kept walking. Cut through Washington Square Park. No easy feat, with all the construction. Headed across W. 4th, then down Cornelia Street, over to Aphrodesia to stock up on herbs.

Aphrodesia is gone.

I was in shock. The store, at which I’ve shopped for over 20 years, is gone. All my sources for loose herbs are now closed.

Headed back to Cornelia Street and had lunch at the Cornelia Street Cafe, another one of my old favorites. Had their Eggs Benedict and a glass of Pinot Grigio. Decided that Edwina, in the urban fantasy, will live on this tiny street, instead of putting her in the building on Grove Street. I have so many of my characters living in the same building on Grove Street, it’s amazing they don’t trip over each other.

Headed over to 6th Avenue, took the subway back uptown. My knee was hurting pretty badly by then, from all the miles walked today. Worse, I took THE WRONG SUBWAY — the A/C/E line when the 1/2/3 line would have made more sense. But I got off at 42nd, walked the block underground, popped up like a prairie dog in Times Square, and walked east to Grand Central. Caught the train home.

Tired, but I got a lot done.

And I came home to find a beautiful floral arrangement from Lara, Michelle, Brenda, and Colin. Thanks so much for your love and support, this quartet and all the rest of you. It means a lot to me. I tried to get Elsa to pose with the flowers, but she wanted her supper.

Over the past few days, I’ve read Ann Aguirre’s BLUE DIABLO. Absolutely loved it. Great paranormal. Eager to read more of her work.

Researched the recommended vet center. Called them up. They were absolutely lovely on the phone, sent me the paperwork, and we set up an appointment for Friday morning. The initial consult is an hour long. On their web page alone, they have almost a half a dozen possible courses of treatment for cancer that are NOT radiation or require multiple anethesias.

Also, I’m wondering how the vet could have diagnosed cancer without running tests? How can you look at an animal who has no exterior growths of anything and say, “cancer”? It just doesn’t feel right.

Elsa took her medicine without complaint. The vets said it would cause nausea and appetite loss. Instead, she’s eating more than ever. Which is good, since she lost so much weight lately.

She had a rough night, which meant I had a rough night. She took her medicine this morning and is now sleeping peacefully.

The alarm went off at 5:30. She’s just settled down, so I was going to ignore it, but she heard it and poked me with her paw until I got up. My knee was too sore to run, so I limped around my double circuit. Lots of people running with their dogs, now that it’s light by 6 AM.

Today, I’ve got writing and business to deal with, and must pack some boxes for storage. I am exhausted, but I feel better that I’m getting a second opinion at a place recommended by someone I trust.

Onward. All you can do, right? Again, thanks for all the support.


Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 7:01 am  Comments (8)  
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  1. So glad the news on Elsa is better. I worried about her most of yesterday and last night as I was going to sleep. I knew you’d find the right path. I’m so glad you’ve got so many caring people who can help her.

  2. What a lovely gesture the flowers were. Fingers still crossed.

  3. Lots of walking! I love all your pictures. 🙂 And I’m glad to hear about Elsa, that there’s hope.

    Ann Aguirre is an awesome lady. I met her at Nationals last year when she did a panel. I’ve got some of her books that’s in my giant TBR pile.

  4. I’m so glad Elsa is doing better and good luck with the vet on Friday.

    Great pictures…I haven’t been in those areas in a long time.

  5. Wow, you took me for a walk in NYC. Something I have always wanted to do since I was 18. What a great thing- photos- details on what you did. I was stepping with ya.

    Doesn’t Elsa look so beautiful in the photo. I think it looks like she’s saying, “For me?” Good on the holistic approach. AND YEP how did the dr. diagnose Elsa without tests. hmm

  6. I’m glad you got that second opinion – sounds like they know what they are doing at Whiskers – and compassionate with it. And if there’s a chance of a misdiagnosis then I’m praying for that also.

    Looks like you had nice weather for your walk – great pics!

  7. That is the COOLEST thing ever–to walk around an area your characters live so you can write it, someday, I would like to do that “across the pond.” *wink*

    I’m so glad there’s hope for Elsa. If anything, she knows she’s one loved kitty. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing your pictures. I’m glad you have an appointment with the Holistic Center. I hope good things come of the appointment. Your friends were very kind to send you and Elsa such lovely flowers. I’m keeping you both in my prayers.

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