The NEH Along The Shore fellowship program’s first week is underway. I am not there yet. I’m in the second session. I’m awaiting the experience with a lot of excitement. I pondered crashing the first week’s activities. I thought better of it, figuring I can wait my turn, and while waiting, finish up the Brooklyn Was Mine collection. It was my favorite text assigned, and I’m happy I took the time to stay with it a little longer, especially when I read the Sullivan piece. It describes the exact place I’ll be and what’s in store for me.
Sullivan says that the best place to watch wind in Brooklyn is at the corner of Montague and Court streets: “This vortex is not one of those tiny tornadoes of fallen leaves that scuttle trash on a lonely side street—the kind that pop up all over New York City, suddenly, silently, momentarily, like haiku. This vortex fills the air above it with sheets of newspapers and inflated plastic shopping bags that swim through it like manta rays and Portuguese men-of-war . . . But there is a delicateness to the vortex . . . At night, under the street lamp, flocks of newspapers separate and dance in daring, flowing rhythms reminiscent of Martha Graham” (154). Now I know–I shouldn’t even bother in fixing my hair all nice and pretty in the morning. I’ll be running through the streets of Brooklyn like Miss Gulch being whipped up and away on her bicycle in Kansas. Despite the hair trouble sure to come, I’m really looking forward to the week.
Sullivan, Robert. “A Windstorm In Downtown Brooklyn.” Brooklyn Was Mine. Eds. Chris Knutsen and Valerie Steiker. New York: Riverhead Books, 2008. 147-59. Print.