manhattan by day

If you were in Manhattan today and didn’t have to spend the entire day working, what would you do?  I don’t own a raincoat.  Maybe that’s what I should do with my day, but that’s not a very exciting answer to, "so whadya do today?"  I have writing to do, photography sites to argue with (most of my photos will soon be available for sale), html pages to design, books to read (I’m in the middle of about 4 books right now), an article to write for a magazine, and a whole lot of phone calls to return.  I’ve been a recluse.  I roasted a chicken last night, stuffed it with cornbread stuffing with sausage, apple, and craisins.  I have leftovers; there’s no cooking to be done.  Normally, about now, I’d head off to Fourbucks for a latte, plug in myPod, and get to writing.  Today, I don’t feel like sitting in that cafe.  I need a change. But it’s raining!  Who wants to go out in the rain without proper rain gear?  I guess there’s always the museum, but that sounds so, eh.  Sometimes I see a piece of art, and I wish it had instructions beside it, explaining how the artist did it.  I saw a photograph printed on etching paper.  I thought it was canvas; it looked dreamy.  I wanted to know if he shot it through a softening filter.  Maybe I should go photograph people in the rain.  It would mean getting wet and no writing done. 



  1. I dont think I've ever owned a raincoat. I usually just leave my hair curly and get soaked from the knees down. Umbrellas dont really do any good in this country…..the wind just cracks them over your head….so why bother with either?

    Do you ever actually get writing done in Starbucks? Just curious. I've tried several stints, but Im never sure what to do with my things when its time for the loo. Im sure someone will either steal all my belongings or call in the bomb squad because there is an unidentified unattended rucksack nearby…..I really cant have them blowing up my laptop.

  2. Rent 'Crash' or another movie that requires some measure of serious contemplation. Then open up a bottle of good red wine and watch Dr. Phil in Spanish.

    Never fails to keep me chipper on rainy days. That, and think of how stupid George Dubya Bush would look stubbing his toe while Laura helps him get dressed in the morning.

    If you had a raincoat, I'd be going in a different direction, of course ;)

  3. Go get wet! Go – shooo – get out of the house and go play. You can come home and get all cozy later – but now – go play in the rain.

  4. i would stay home. write on laptop while still in bed. eat leftovers. get raincoat some other time. but this is only because i have already been outside today. "ain't a fit night out for man nor beast." but, maybe you need to breathe in some of that soggy air. i sometimes need to do that.

  5. new york in the rain .. so much more fun in August than in January .. so much better in the villages than stuck in the park.. and its not eh.. its meh.. far more non-plussed..

  6. I would take my daughter and husband to a museum and then to dinner at North Square in the village. It's our favorite. And give them lots of hugs and kisses.

  7. Don't any of you have a job? Go to work for crying out loud. Then when you do get some free time, you'll know how to make the best of it, rain or shine. I can talk (because I'm retired after more than 50 years on some payroll or other.) I never have trouble deciding what to do on a rainy, sunny, or snowy day. I have a list of projects, some started, some not, indoors and out, as long as my arm. Worked out at the gym this morning, spent the late morning continuing making some custom molding for my eternal kitchen remodeling project, have a kettle of saurkraut simmering on the stove to go with knackwurst and fried potatoes for supper, and will play the last act of Tristan and Isolde on the VCR this evening, after lady friend arrives and we eat. Tomorrow, it's a trip to the lumber yard to select some more red oak for the moldings I'm making and then back to the workshop.)

  8. It's always best when a woman gets wet.

    I'm not sure about stuffing a bird … ever. It's not very sanitary and increases the roasting time, which more increases the chances of the bird drying out than actually keeping it moist. Otherwise, it sounds very tasty.

  9. Rain there, snow here…sigh. If I didn't have to be here in cubie-land, I'd be home in jammies puttering around, or maybe taking a little nap. But definitely not wandering around getting cold and wet. Ew.

    If you head back to the museum, would you take a photo of that one picture you described about a month ago? Little girl/red balloon/suicide in the windows?

    If, on the other hand, you make the comfy choice and stay home, the picture will still be somewhere. Have a happy day, whichever way.

  10. Managing a coat wardrobe is very cumbersome, if you like to dress appropriately for the weather and occasion. It's times like these that wardrobe necessities get on my nerves. It's absurd. How many coats should a person have. 1 for warm weather rain, 1 for cold weather rain, a bunch for inbetween dry weather and then a couple for really cold weather, if you live in place that has a real winter…. I am an apartment dweller so I have limited space. Where the heck am I supposed to put all these coats that increase exponentially, it seems, if you want your coats and jackets to match your outfits and who has the money or time. -geez! …Guys are so lucky.

  11. I just threw up in my mouth. Do something, do anything that will inject a little substance into your hollow shell.

  12. Eww. Sauerkraut,knackwurst and fried potatoes? For a lady friend? Try being nice to Stephanie and maybe she'll give you some romantic recipes. Preferably ones that don't lead directly to after-dinner farts.

  13. I'm all for sitting in a pub, drinking beer, and scribbling notes onto a napkin. Or walking around, getting wet, and relishing the melancholy of it all. Or sitting with an acoustic guitar and strumming Em over and over and over… Em often captures the moment.

  14. Whenever I'm walking in rain, I think of the song from Les Miserables: "Don't you fret, Monsieur Marius, I don't feel any pain…a little fall of rain will hardly hurt me now." It brings to mind chivalrous behavior, offering a coat for protection and all that. Rain is sexy, too. How I love to read when it's raining, nap when it's raining, make love and then lay watching the beads spill down the window pane. Hope you had a wondrous rainy day, Stephanie, whatever you decided to do.

  15. You know what, there is true magic in not knowing what you want in every moment of your life. It's a lie that we have to be full of action all the time. The shining, sometimes piercing truth is in those times when we are forced to be with ourselves, and ourselves alone.

    I have a friend who hates indecision, but where are those thick moments of pause in his life? It's in that absence of a driving force that we have to confront the 'me'–a difficult gesture in today's busy, goal-oriented landscape.

    Girl, you shouldn't have to do a damn thing. Don't clean, don't work, don't let the obligation of action keep you from experience.

    …On a side note, I had to walk 30 minutes today under sheets of moist snow without a coat on. I was upset for my clothes (and curls…or rather lack, now), but you know what? Things dried and all was well.

    It's a lesson I seem to have to reteach myself in life.

  16. Wow, look at the rancid comments some of these people come up with.

    I think it's fun to muse on a free day. You have plenty to do and only your whim will choose it for you. It's devine.

    Blow off the meanies. I do!

  17. I'm with Gene on this one. Use the day to do all the things that you need to do, but won't want to do when it's nice out. Go to the gym and work out hard, then, if it's needed, clean the apartment. That way, when it's nice out, like today, you'll be in a much better frame of mind when you go out.

    And umbrellas don't work in NYC, and raincoats aren't all that much better. Downtown is a wind tunnel.

  18. "Who wants to go out in the rain without proper rain gear?"

    You want to dry living in England duck. I come complete with mountain climbing gear this time of year. I'm afraid Manhattan wouldn't know what to do with me. :P

  19. Sometimes when it rains I like to curl up by the window with something warm to drink and a good book. Listen to the rain and let it lull me into another person's world. Books are easier to finish with that steady background noise to help separate you from your regular life.

  20. Goto a movie. Perfect rainy day activity. In LA when it rains, it's the only time I don't feel guilty staying home and watching everything I Tivoed or Lifetime movies.

  21. I think it’s a blessing that some of us have the opportunity to have the conflict of deciding what to do. People get so resentful if we have ‘too much time’ on our hands, due to our jobs and the leniency due to the nature of it. They don’t think ‘writing’ is work, when in fact–it takes a lot out of you sometimes.

    Go to your favorite café, sit, write your heart out. Working on four writing projects is mentally exhausting. I give you credit!

    Now, everyone tells me this is morbid, but I absolutely love rainy days with downpours. It gives me a calming feeling when I see that. There’s something about a dreary day that makes you want to curl up with a good book, or curl up with your laptop and write a good book.

    If I were in Manhattan right now, I would take my girlfriend out to a nice restaurant and enjoy the best wine—then stay at a nice hotel and enjoy all the amenities it has to offer. Manhattan is great!

  22. I would stay in bed, eat pancakes and listen to the rain behind my windows, read, take a nap (this is the one I`m doing now) or go out with someone I love, kiss under the rain, hold hands and then go home and take a long hot bubble bath and drink some good red wine and enjoy eachothers company (this is something I used to do when I was not single)

  23. Hi Stephanie,

    One of the comments about flashing triggered a memory from high school. Didn't a man in a car drive up to you and show you his privates when we were in 8th or 9th grade? That seems to ring a bell. Have you ever posted about that – do you know what I am taling about?

  24. If I were in Manhattan today, I would be all over the place. I don't know much about the place, except for the obvious (SATC, tiny island with too much ppl, shopping, etc.) The day I get there, I will find something to do; going to New York was my "little girl dream"…my dreams have changed, however into not so amazing things (fashion designer dream)… but it would be nice to go jump in the rain in New York…sans umbrella.

  25. Don't you know? It's not about raincoats but cute umbrellas! :-) I know I probably won't get a response back to this (and maybe if I go thru your archives I could find out)but I've been reading your blog for quite a few weeks now and I'm dying to know….
    What is it exactly that you DO? What is your job? You write, take pictures, stuff birds?? Please…do tell.

  26. I recall the story about the man flashing Stephanie in the car as well. They made an announcement over the loudspeaker that we should be on the lookout for the man and stay away from people asking for directions. Maybe the incident was too traumatic for Stephanie to write about, but I wouldn't think so from the othe content on the blog.

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