Monday, September 29, 2008
Okay, I’m getting serious about my daily interviews. Now I want my camera, note pad and I’m thinking I want to bring a tape recorder too. The things people do and say are so beautiful. I’m finding that people truly light up when I stop to talk to them.
The day started kind of so-so. I went to my café on Jane Street and it was packed, so I went to swim, but the pool was too crowded too (I have this thing where I really need a lane of my own or I won’t swim). Finally I ended up eating a sandwich and opening my computer for all of five minutes at Doma, a little writer’s café on the corner of Perry Waverly and Seventh. Out of the window, beyond the Jade plants I see colors, streams of gorgeous blues and reds on a canvas. Next I’m outside taking pictures and asking questions. The man with three brushes in his hand, who didn’t have a website or business card, but would like to sell his painting is John. John lit up when I asked him about his painting and it made my day too. Today John changed the way I saw the world. I looked up. I don’t think I’ll ever look at New York the same way again.
Who: John Van Ren
Where: Perry and 7th Avenue
To me the corner of Perry and 7th is an intersection, but apparently to this painter it’s magnificent. Oddly enough it’s right here on this corner that I watched Tower One crumble to the ground 7 years ago. It was all death and horror on that day and not something I’ll ever forget, but today I’m finding life and re-birth, despite the economic crisis.
“Why this corner?” I ask.
“It’s the volume I think,” he says with intensity.
“Do you see how complex those buildings are?”
I don’t see it as he does, but I’m starting to. There’s beauty in this city, it’s just a matter of where you find it.
“Do you see that little red door, the way it just pops out?”
I look up and to the right and I see it – a building, then another and one that is red and a little door jets out of the top. I never would have looked and thought about the city the way he is right now if he hadn’t pointed it out to me. So, I’m thankful, very thankful.
I spent the rest of the day feeling a surge of love for this city that I haven’t felt for a long, long time. Dark clouds began to engulf the west village and as the light faded, I snapped some shots. Enjoy.