Monday, August 3, 2015

Late summer light

Our twilight is reflected from the tall wall of the building on our terrace's eastern edge. The sinking western sun is hidden from us by more buildings, but bounces down to make the terrace a strange pink in the late August evenings.

The Nicotiana mutabilis are very tall, now, and speak unexpectedly to the pinks and apricot of the Agastache 'Acapulco,' also planted for pollinators and hummingbirds. Honey bees still besiege the calamintha, and when they leave, a single firefly blinks in the dying light.

Tomatoes are often on the menu, now. Stuffed here with rice and dill and little bits of leftover lamb (the lamb-less version is in my book). In the glasses, very cold prosecco with sliced white peaches from the tiny but excellent farmers market on Lenox and  West 118th.

We still save up stories from our days, for supper conversation. The Frenchman tells me about The Man with the Dog, The Man in the Suit, and The Tide of Construction Workers - all regular and developing themes from his Harlem-Empire State Building subway commute.

Nights are hot, but the terrace always seems cooler. While we eat we listen to the small yapping dog whose location we have never been able to pinpoint. Occasionally, in the last few weeks, there is an eruption of angry shouting from the homeless shelter across the way. It used to be very quiet, but something has changed - new management, I think. We wait for Korean Air's Airbus A380 to lumber overhead, on initial approach to JFK - its wide wings and massive tail are unmistakeable at 13,000 feet. And sometimes the American kestrel perches at the top of the homeless shelter's fire escape and scans for careless pigeons.

City life. Day in, day out.


  1. Very evocative. I am always amazed at the birds and animals in New York ( kestrels, squirrels)

  2. Wait...a kestrel can take a pigeon? Really?! That'd be a HUGE catch for such a little bird.

    Beautiful recounting of your evening. I'm glad you are able to find some peace out there. Are you still headed to SA in a few weeks?

  3. The kestrel should be honored to be mentioned right after the mighty A380.

  4. beautiful evenings of mid summer. doesnt summer end on the 21st of september in your area?

  5. You have managed to create an environment of peace and beauty amidst the noise, crime, and pollution of the city. I did the same when I lived there, but wouldn't trade my mountain home to return to NYC for anything. I love the way you make your peace among the boxes and nightmare of moving once again. I know, as I just finished my 3rd move in 4 years....and I, too, managed to find time to prepare a nice meal, set the table, have a cocktail, light the candles, watch the birds...and ignore the boxes surrounding me! Best of luck with your move and your trip - I look forward to seeing the beauty you create in your new home.


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