Amusements: The Sequel

It’s a


Not to be observant


When in a sea of humanity.  One might unknowingly miss


On the corner of Waverly and 7th Avenue.


A two-bodied beast locked in unity,


The mysterious case of the missing workmen,


The end of denim jeans,


A worn-out  speed demon,


A royal prince.


And the kitty crown on a leash, window shopping at the jewelry store.

Keep your eyes open, your heart too, and witness the wonders before you.  That’s what I do every time I walk out the door on this tiny island.  You can see how it’s paid off: with more amusements, and many more to come.

The Last Hurrah


Today’s stroll spoke of endings in closed cafes and quiet streets,


Of vacation being officially over.


Farewell to sun and summer,


And sitting on the plaza.


With pending doom from the Flatiron Building in an ominous sky,


I reached for pink in mounds of mum,


The color of the last hurrah.

IMG_5681Goodbye sweet summer.

‘It’s been real,’ as my mother would say.  In some cases, to real to bear.


Approaching fall a tad worse for wear, life goes on and I’m going with it.

The Cummington Fair’s 145th year


With eyes lined,


And mighty haunches fed, bred for dragging ten thousand pounds,


In regal repose, the beast of burden between appointments with the public and the pull.


Steve and I strolled the garish fairway of sugar and screams,


And abdominal organ rearrangements, two for the price of one.


We ambled to the stage for a pretty good Johnny Cash impersonation.


And to another to sing the national anthem in the dark.


We witnessed drivers loading into their reinforced weapons, soldiers going to war for the Demolition Derby.


 The deafening derby’s aftermath in silent wreckage.  All in the name of destruction.

Some things never change.

It’s a comfort to know that there will always be the best bouquet, the perfect green bean , the finest pair of knitted gloves, the strongest oxen team, the most fortified jalopy, singers who imitate the great, and Steve and I, like other spectators, gathering for an evening where screaming your head off is not only the norm, but the expectation.  It’s like being young.

First photo by Steve Kramer, the rest by yours truly.

Scenes From a Car Window


Coming back from Sullivan County, rushing by a river,


Skimming the earth like wind,


In a moment of parked repose, the trees reach to the Sistine Chapel.


As night falls, bridging our way from burbs to urban, dread narrowing my thoughts.


We fly down the west side through lurid beauty: cramped trees growing in concrete.  I prepare to meet what it means to be the daughter of Sol.

Stef & Dad Fl 07

                  Faces alike, countered spirits, from the other side, his reign remains.

Such Is Life


Rooted in the family tree, I ponder my place and allegience to it.


There are endless ruts of great majesty in the emotional tides of being an Urdang,


Rather late in the day, I stand, determined to avoid the distortion of being right over being happy.


And look beyond the island of self, toward the horizon of humanity.


What stares back is a glorious mess; seasons and people coming and going faster than a sigh.

As my mother would say, ‘Such is life.’

Symbols of Loss


I am split,


  Stripped bare and prickly,


Unmoored and abandoned, a boat out of water,


Am having trouble seeing things clearly, and for what they are.  What is grief, what is diversion, what is the truth in all these emotions?  Where is my dad?

Trained to be strong, to deny feelings, I am determined to ride the waves of emotions, to go through another loss that brings up all the others, and to continue to live and love through it all.


I’m calling on angels, calling on loved ones who’ve helped me through this week, I’m calling on writing to make sense of this chaos.  And reaching to my readers who might say, “I know what she means, I’ve felt that too.”

Ode to Whispering Towers

From one extreme to another, boys quietly discussing fishing in my last post, to towers whispering from above near Bryant Park, both scenes causing pause.


Concrete, steel, glass, silence,


Grand matriarchs holding their own,


Dreamers dancing to conquer the impossible.


If one looks closely, there is grace abounding in human beings creating a world of commerce, art, and everything in between.  All on one small island: heaven, that can be hell, millions of miracles every moment in this city that somehow works as a whole.

 After twenty eight years, I still love it like a child in the stage of discovery and wonder.










In the Land of Ferns and Fairies


At the end of this road is an Alpine lake.

John and I were at the water’s edge,.  He held his Cairn, Jack Angus, and hand scooped a shower on his overheated fuzzball body.  While we quietly talked and he played with Jack in air thicker than water, we noticed two lanky boys sauntering down the road toward the dock. I said a soft hello.  One looked to be about ten and the other fourteen.  I watched them with fascination as they  sat and engaged in a quiet conversation on the gently rocking dock.  They seemed like ghosts from the nineteen fifties.

As the younger one looked up and listened, the oldest did most of the talking.  His unpredictable voice slid in and out of manhood, soft and wise one second and squaking the next.

I heard him tell his companion, “My Dad says if you fish only to catch a fish, you might be disappointed.  But if you do it for the enjoyment of fishing, then if you catch one, it’s a bonus.”

As we walked away, John said to me, “They seem very olde world, don’t they?’  He had noticed too but I was so curious about them I failed to notice John noticing.  The boys haunted me the rest of the day: youngsters quietly existing in this technological world.  They were without noise, sans handhelds, no jumping around or screaming or throwing rocks, just enjoying each other’s company.


I couldn’t actually remember the last time I was privy to two boys on a dock.  Where did they come from, I wondered, these little philosophers?

 And then I figured it out.  The lake community where John and Kevin have their house began as a utopia in the late 1800’s, and has remained a land of ferns and fairies, and boys that are content to sit and think about things


 And adults who like to be reminded of that sleepy time in life, at least on the weekends.

For more photos from another season at The Ledge, one much cooler: http://wildnaturefny/2013/0324/