chasing rainbows

They poured onto porches, cameras in hand, and stopped in the middle of the road. They called each other on the phone to tell one another to step outside. Or, if they were me and the sisters from the Fun Family, they drove like maniacs all over the island snapping pix along the way and trying to get back to capture a few from the balcony of Hannah's Hideaway before the whole thing evanesced.


the fun family

Have these siblings got stories! Of growing up with dirty magazines in Staten Island, of hijacking buses in London, of running into Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey, of food cooked on Chambers stoves. That's right, one of the Chambers stoves in my family came from this family.
Meanwhile, I had never met two of these siblings (though the husband of one), but they knew all about me—the Goose, the birthday, the cast of characters—from reading this blog. DR and brother Bo, each of whom has their own blog, Light Sensitive and No Line is an Island, are frequent comment-ers here, with Bo having attained notoriety as the Poetry Man. Talk about social network! They entertained me in fine style in their rental digs on BI after attending a wedding here. Kept me up past my bedtime. Laughing.


they said rain

The promised week of rain has totally not materialized. Fog and sun and warm temps.
What the Irish call "soft" weather, I believe.


fooled again

The the life of  an appliance in Block Island is brutish and short. Well, not that brutish—my previous stove was seldom used by tenants in its approximately 10 months of use (spread over five years). Nonetheless, it went on the fritz. The electronic control pad doesn't respond well to the moisture here, I guess. Still, it lasted three years longer than the last refrigerator, which responded to the power fluctuations by blowing its compressor.
I vowed to buy the cheapest, simplest stove without electronic controls. And did, on line with Home Depot (free delivery!). And was dismayed to find that the stovetop grids are gray rather than black. Couldn't tell from the pics. So now I'm thinking spray paint.


off season for a reason

It started raining yesterday (or the day before, or something), and it is meant to keep on pouring for a week. The sun should come out about the time the next guests move in.


five years ago today

Mirror, mirror.

It's again the equinox, when
yin and yang
are perfectly balanced.


green green grass

Nothing like a nicely mown lawn. All that's missing is the pheasants and monarchs.


i do not control the weather

A group of Block Island realtors have been talking about including a hurricane clause of some kind in their rental contracts in the future. Apparently, this year's Irene caused many people to want refunds because of boats not running etc. Meanwhile, a fall nor'easter can shut down ferry service for several days (longer than most hurricanes).
Can you get trip insurance for house rentals? I dunno. But I do know that the weather is only going to get more unpredictable even as the fall season becomes more popular on the island. We need to think of something. Ideas?


grey skies, big rollers

The island is beautifully empty but for the carpenters and the road crews and a few stray walkers. And Canadian geese.


home fires

Claudia's Surf City is booked out for most weekends through Columbus Day—it's wedding season on Block Island. In fact, next weekend it will be five years since Hannah and Chris got married. Hannah's Hideaway was built the same year, and for the moment, we're in residence there. I'm thinking about moving back to CSC after everyone's happily married. I miss my kitchen there.



They're just pretending to be tourists. . .


the first cake

. . .of the only baby in the world!



Somebody doesn't yet know that birthdays will also involve cake and candles and presents and partay.


der fame

My sister-in-law and her lighthouse on Block Island are captured by German Geo magazine. If you happen to be in Germany, please pick up a copy or two for us. It's the one with London on the cover and the big story about Block Island. . .


end of summer lament

A teenager, the niece of a friend, posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
goodbye 9PM sunlight, hello 5PM darkness. goodbye natural hair, hello straightener. goodbye real laughs, hello fake smiles. goodbye all nighters, hello alarm clock. goodbye swimming pool, hello snow. goodbye double sleepovers, hello school nights. goodbye tan, hello pale. goodbye summer, hello school

And my twentysomething countered with the following:
Goodbye hot stinky ass city, hello crisp breathable island air. Goodbye nothing to do today, hello "where'd the time go?" Goodbye empty bank account, hello promise of income.  Goodbye leg shaving, hello jeans.  Goodbye hair doing, hello hats.  Goodbye crazy people on the streets, motorcycle engines and smog, hello closed window silence and cold crazies trapped in their houses.  Goodbye baby who won't go to sleep till 10, hello 7pm bedtime. Goodbye sunscreen argument, hello sweatshirt. Goodbye high electric bills, hello heated seats.  Goodbye salads, hello beef stew.

A lot of the difference is school-related, and for some parents I daresay "Goodbye 'I'm bored' hello silence of the school day" is the happiest harbinger of fall. Me, I'm just glad I don't have to sharpen pencils any more. You?


her empire

The Subway Singer was excited. As she sat on the platform with her guitar, time shifted and a blast from the past roared in and opened its doors. Rattan seats, ceiling fans, windows that opened. A subway car built in 1917. Could you get on? Would you disappear into the twilight zone? The conductors were beckoning. "Running on  the express track between 96th and 42nd St." She packed up her CDs and her gear.
She hopped on.


fall in block island

Here we come! My favorite time of year. . .
Nor'easters notwithstanding.


how to age gracefully

Keep traveling, keep exercising, keep thinking, keep working, keep meeting people—and maybe when you're 80 you will go to Kathmandhu for one wedding and Istanbul for another in the space of a month.


labor day not so much

I am having a hissy fit about this balanced budget bullshit that is supposed to take precedence over All Else including job creation in the Rick Perry Republican world—and so is every other NYT columnist today, including in this op-ed piece that invokes my former bossman Dan Okrent on the subject of Prohibition, comparing the legislation of morality then to, er, the legislation of morality now. How is it that no one seems to care that no one seems to care?


in situ

More than 30 years ago, I began this portrait of a beautiful friend of mine in her beautiful Upper West Side apartment. I realized after a time when life intervened—job, marriage—that I was never going to finish it, so I took the canvas off the stretchers, cut it down and put it on this crooked one. My friend didn't like the picture much at the time; it made her look old. Now we both are, and she likes it better. She is contemplating framing and hanging it near the very couch she posed on.