Greetings from New York (Day 2.5)
My family arrived in New York, on Thursday evening. We were tired, having spent the entire day travelling. We started out from our house at 3AM, go to the airport at 5AM, boarded the plane at 7AM. And because we're travelling with two small kids, we did not pack lightly. I think, so far, we've learned that travelling with a two year old and a five-month old is an extremely bad idea. Still, we made it. The hotel's pretty nice, but the sleeping arrangements have been a chore. We're trying to "sleep train" both kids, so that they sleep independently. That's not exactly easy to enforce in a small hotel room. So, I'm writing to you on very little sleep from a city that I love.
Beautifully sunny day on this September 11th. Early in the morning, much of the traffic has been shut down or re-routed for the commemorations. On television, memorial services are airing on all of the channels, and the names are announced over loudspeakers.
During 9/11, I was a professor at Utica College, which is a small school in Upstate, NY. I was heading to teach a class that morning when I heard that planes had struck the WTC Buildings. An ROTC kid stopped me on the way to class and told me the news. So many of my students were from New York, so a lot of them were, understandably, distraught. Classes ended up being cancelled and I remember a couple of students couldn't get in touch with their families, since the cellular connection and many of the phone connections back into the city had been disrupted. In the cafeteria, there were a number of faculty members crying, watching the footage, and consoling some of the students. It was a difficult time for me. I tried calling a few friends that morning, but I couldn't get through.
So my family and I are here in New York from the 9th to the 19th. I've got four readings while I'm here (click on the calendar link above if you're curious). The trick will be to pick poems for the readings. I don't want to repeat too many, though I know each reading will have their own audience. Advice?
It's been difficult to schedule meetings with friends. We all have our own schedules. My schedule is so intimately tied to my family's schedule. And I know all my friends in NY have jobs. Still, it would be nice to see them outside a reading venue.
"The Nap" has been the biggest limiting reagent. We can't do anything in the afternoon without getting the nap in for the kids, otherwise both of them freak out. My 2-yr-old acts like a Maenad in the afternoon if he doesn't sleep. The baby acts like a wounded pelican. It's awful. It's like trying to put clothes on a wet spaghetti noodle, wrestling the 2-yr-old. And, of course, we've had difficulty getting them both down for naps, so we've had a few incidents. They're napping now, which is why I can steal some blog time.
Do come to the Kundiman reading. I hope to see you there.