New Years Day – got up later than usual and went out for a short walk. I walked through Stuyvesant Town, a very large 1940’s apartment complex bordered by 1st avenue between 14th St & 20th streets. Once you leave the bordering NY street, you enter the ‘community’ and stroll along sidewalks that wind amongst the buildings. There is a central fountain, playgrounds, tennis courts and an ice skating rink. Very village-ly feeling. I don’t know what it would be like to live here, but it seems pleasant. I walked through to 19th street and here I began to feel a more upscale NY. Brighter, more lively shops, even on New Years day. It was cold, though so I kept the walk short and made a note to come back.
Today was the Marathon Poetry reading – 2:00 to midnight – at St.Mark’s Church in the East Village.The church is large and sort of a standard American church with steeple, inside it’s very plain: cream painted walls, with no ornamentation or art. There were rows of chairs with carpeted tiers of seating along the sides.
There were over 100 poets scheduled to read – program showed about 13 or so per hour. I stayed for the first 2 hours. Some read clearly, some mumbled, some rambled. The best were those who treated the reading as a performance. The audience and poets were diverse – male, female, gay, straight, back, white, Asian, Hispanic, young and some quite old. All these people drawn together because they love words and creating with words. I sat there and it seemed natural for me to be there. And all I had to do was walk in.
I left about 4:00 and had an early dinner at a Greek restaurant. Food was good, but as usual with restaurant meals, too much. I left with enough take-home-food to carry me through the rest of my visit.