Sunday, December 17, 2023

Rainy Grey

The grey has given way to rain.  Three inches yesterday, another inch or more today and now wind.  Fungi love it. 

This time of year is supposed to be high, bright, and beautiful.  Selavy.  I watch more YouTube videos and begin the last half of the last season of "The Crown."  Early to bed.  Early to rise.  My friend from the midwest sent me drink photos yesterday in the early afternoon.  

"Whoa!  You'll be in bed by eight.  I try to stay up until nine."

"Nightowl," she replied.  Ha.  I've actually been staying up until ten.  If she only knew.  

I read today that Greyhound and other bus company terminals are closing all around the country.  Multiple reasons, but all of them are tied to modern economics. . . i.e., greed.  Fewer people travel by bus than before.  Terminals are more expensive to maintain.  The land is worth more than the business and so big corporations buy them up for development.  The result it that now you can't get there from here.  Not by bus, anyway.  

When they first began building bus terminals, much like everything else, they were innovative architecture, part of the Art Deco style so popular in old Miami Beach hotels.  It was deemed "Streamline Moderne."  

Funny enough, Greyhound was a company that began in Bob Zimmerman's hometown, Hibbing, Minnesota.  You know him as Dylan.  I can, if I strain, hear his oeuvre as a tribute to Greyhound.  

I travelled the country by Greyhound Bus in 1975 after graduating from college.  It didn't look so much like this as it did the scene from "Midnight Cowboy."  

Still, they were convenient.  They were heated or cooled, had bathrooms and sometimes showers, and you could get a meal in many of them.  The chairs were hideously uncomfortable, though, and they were often filled with bums.  Sometimes, there were policemen who came by and demanded to see your ticket.  If you didn't have one, out you went.  I was offered man sex in a couple terminals.  And I was offered and accepted a place to stay in a distant city by several women.  I spent some nights sleeping on the bus as I travelled from city to city, and often, I sent my luggage ahead and left it in storage until I needed more than was in my backpack.  The Bus Ameripass was similar to a Eurailpass in that you could travel all you wanted during the period for which you paid.  And it was cheap.  The last leg of my cross-country journey was to NYC.  It was my first time there, and when I emerged from the Port Authority building near 42nd street, I was immediately captured by a cute secretary who turned out to be a prostitute.  I was actually naive enough to be flattered, but I told her, "You can't hustle a hippie."  And suddenly, she was gone, just disappeared as invisibly quick as she came.  

I haven't ridden a Greyhound since then, but somehow, I am saddened now that they are going, going, gone.  

I blew this shot on the Boulevard.  Film, you know.  The camera takes much more attention than a digital camera does.  I was nervous.  The group of women surrounding this scene were looking at me when I raised my Leica to my eye.  The shutter was slow, as you can see by the blurry walking lady.  I was too shy to frame the picture up, to step over to where all the women with their iPhones were taking pictures.  There were big opportunities there, but I was incapable of taking advantage of it.  

I get emboldened watching those documentaries on YouTube.  I realize how good I used to be, how sure and confident.  What happened?  How'd I lose all that? 

You know the old answer--first gradually then suddenly.  But I used to be good.  I really did.  

I went to my buddy's camera store yesterday to see if he had a Nikon FA for sale.  He didn't.  There are several online I could buy, and many old lenses at a low, low price.  But I didn't.  I had forgotten that I have an SLR Leica, an R5, but remembering that, I pulled it out of the closet.  I handled it for a bit and thought, "I still want that Nikon."  I don't know.  I might.  It has a much wider range of lenses to choose from than the Leica, and the Leica is heavy.  

After the last sentence, I got up to refill my coffee cup.  The sun has come up on a grey and windy world.  The Leica was sitting in the wooden tray on the ottoman looking beautiful, so I picked it up and walked out to the deck to snap a pic.  A fellow from down the street was walking his dog by and said, "Hello.  What are you taking pictures of?"

"Uh. . . the reflection of the water on the glass table."  I felt sheepish saying it.  He is a business guy, closes real estate deals for a living.  

"Oh. . . that's cool," he said.  I wondered how he really felt, was he being genuine or was he laughing inside?  

"Honey, when I was walking by that Boheme's house down the street, he was out taking pictures of water on that table he sits at all the time.  Ha!  What would you say if I started doing that?"

"I'd make you get some help."

The rain seems to have let up.  I think I'll go to Gotham early and take pictures of water reflected in the streets.  

O.K. Last thing before I go.  I sent this brief AI video around to some friends yesterday.  They were beside themselves.  Many said they couldn't stop watching it.  Some said they couldn't get the song out of their head now.    Though I made this with something in mind, I couldn't send it.  If I get too much hate mail for this one, I will take it down.  Ha!

I just got a message from YouTube that says this video is blocked in some territories.  If you are unable to view it. . . you are probably lucky!

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