Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And how shall it continue?

Well, Memorial Day did not kid around. Yesterday it kicked off summer with a kick in our pants, remarkably well aimed. The fan did its best. Munstead Wood, above, fared remarkably well, far better than Pat Austin (RIP), who would have keeled over, petals fried.

In a bid to escape our fourth floor level of heat hell (as we walk downstairs it cools, incrementally), we left the apartment and walked to Red Hook, two neighbourhoods south. On the way we detoured to the nearby piers to look at the beautiful ships at anchor for Fleet Week and OpSail 2012 (the latter commemorating the war of 1812). Spain and Mexico had sailing vessels. Japan a deadly grey thing. The UK a huge ship, a former tanker requisitioned as a supply and hospital ship for the Falklands War. The smart sailors, the heavy cables and fluttering flags, the lethal, loaded choppers on board, the pretty trappings of war. Bang, you're dead. Let us mop you.

On Columbia Street later, melting just a little, we passed a window that belongs to Little Pheasant (Denise), a blogging floral designer.

We passed Christina's community garden with sweet peas and poppies. 

Then comes a long, barren stretch, relieved at last by ivy and graffiti. You can bet that ivy lowers their cooling bill.

I was aiming for a garden and a mentally noted patch of milkweed. But someone had removed the lush milkweed patch of last summer. So no flowers now, redolant of milkshakes and electric with bees. Instead, the weedy patch beside the leaning house on the cobbled street is filled with wild lettuce and thistles and mugwort.

We put our names on a list for a lunch spot at Hope and Anchor and while waiting we walked some more.

At the bar of Hope and Anchor, a fixture on Van Brunt Street whose prices have not risen in years (thank you) I chewed on a Vietnamese chopped salad and Vincent on a banh mi burger. Mine was good, his disappointing. I sipped an iced G&T. Before sitting down I soused my arms beneath the very cold water in the bathroom, which was amply supplied with kitchen towels (thank you, again). I put wet towels on my hot neck.

We went home to rescue the hot, furred cat who had wedged himself between two cool pots on the hated gravel. Inside the apartment, the fan did its best.

I cleaned milkweed buds, discovered on Staten Island on Sunday, to accompany our braaied chicken.

While the chicken sizzled over the coals I drank a trashy drink. Cuba Libre. Rum and Coke. I know. I enjoyed it. A lot. I may have had another one.

With smoke spicing the air the cat roused himself and retired to the cooling rooftops.

Today, at home, the much anticipated new air conditioner arrived, not a moment too soon. A big, very heavy expensive thing.

It was too big.

It was returned.

The two kind, sweating Mexican guys who hauled it up the stairs appeared not to hold a grudge. But I feel like a fool. I did not double check with my own tape measure in the store. I am not sure you appreciate the depth of my disappointment with all things Marie at the moment.

It is summer, Stateside. Let the games begin. May the best measurer win.

Speaking of measuring: Tonight, the setting sun lines up with the Manhattan street grid. It is known as Manhattanhenge. We'll be on the roof, dancing for better days.


  1. Glad Vince is better. Seems the heat is driving you all crazy. When you go to the rooftop for Manhattanhengde, don't forget to bring your ukulele.

  2. I always miss Manhattanhenge by a day!! I'm so glad I read this post today. Sorry you're melting in the heat. I have an ac unit and it still does nothing.

  3. Loved to see the handsome cat and your lovely roses!

    So sorry your air conditioner didn't fit. That has to be a major disappointment. I had a friend who lived in a fourth floor apartment--air conditioning year round.

  4. Ooohh that strawberry looks ripe for plucking!

    Wish you could send some warm our way, huddled in front of the fire, been raining all day- I miss summer already! x

  5. Hope the next AC is a better fit - that was frustrating! I think the cooler air is headed your way tomorrow or Thursday, tho, so relief of some sort is in sight.

    Take lots of photos tonight. Manhattanhenge sounds cool!


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