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129

You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost

2
terms
2
notes

by Mark Doty. on NYC

, G. (2020). You Are Here, You Are Not a Ghost. Granta, 151, pp. 129-146

131

I could narrate my neighborhood’s relentless transformation, but you already know the story. Gone: Bright Food Shop, the Big Cup, Eighteenth & Eighth, David Barton Gym, Petite Abeille. The clothing shop of Raymond Dragon, a porn star and designer who made very small bathing suits. A shop that sold only striped French fabric. A ramen place on Sixth run by a group of very friendly young men who wanted you to like them, and made good soup, though they seemed to be playing the part of cafe staff in an extended, laddish prank. The Peruvian barber shop that trimmed my head for a decade, then became the office of a gelato parlor next door, and then a purveyor of rolled, unappealing slices of pizza, then nothing. The gelato place is gone too. Nothing is more common now than it used to be, since landlords learned they can ask for rent so high almost no one can pay it, then deduct the resultant losses of income from their taxes, engineering zones of absence that sometimes empty most of a block, and riddle even prosperous neighborhoods.

so stupid

—p.131 by Granta 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I could narrate my neighborhood’s relentless transformation, but you already know the story. Gone: Bright Food Shop, the Big Cup, Eighteenth & Eighth, David Barton Gym, Petite Abeille. The clothing shop of Raymond Dragon, a porn star and designer who made very small bathing suits. A shop that sold only striped French fabric. A ramen place on Sixth run by a group of very friendly young men who wanted you to like them, and made good soup, though they seemed to be playing the part of cafe staff in an extended, laddish prank. The Peruvian barber shop that trimmed my head for a decade, then became the office of a gelato parlor next door, and then a purveyor of rolled, unappealing slices of pizza, then nothing. The gelato place is gone too. Nothing is more common now than it used to be, since landlords learned they can ask for rent so high almost no one can pay it, then deduct the resultant losses of income from their taxes, engineering zones of absence that sometimes empty most of a block, and riddle even prosperous neighborhoods.

so stupid

—p.131 by Granta 2 months, 3 weeks ago

(noun) a mineral consisting of a massive usually layered calcium carbonate (as aragonite or calcite) formed by deposition from spring waters or especially from hot springs

132

Small, sculptural pedestals suggest that what’s for sale aspires to the condition of art, a sense reinforced by the floors’ expanses of travertine.

—p.132 by Granta
uncertain
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Small, sculptural pedestals suggest that what’s for sale aspires to the condition of art, a sense reinforced by the floors’ expanses of travertine.

—p.132 by Granta
uncertain
2 months, 3 weeks ago

(adjective) empyreal / (noun) the highest heaven or heavenly sphere in ancient and medieval cosmology usually consisting of fire or light / (noun) the true and ultimate heavenly paradise / (noun) firmament heavens / (noun) an ideal place or state

133

The other inescapable new presence is Barneys, a sleek store that displays, across two rather sparsely stocked floors, clothing, accessories and jewelry priced at such an empyrean level that I am challenged to appreciate the allure of, say, a $1,000 pair of sneakers, a $5,000 purse.

—p.133 by Granta
notable
2 months, 3 weeks ago

The other inescapable new presence is Barneys, a sleek store that displays, across two rather sparsely stocked floors, clothing, accessories and jewelry priced at such an empyrean level that I am challenged to appreciate the allure of, say, a $1,000 pair of sneakers, a $5,000 purse.

—p.133 by Granta
notable
2 months, 3 weeks ago
144

[...] When I came to the wide descending hallway that leads to the turnstiles, the air filled with a dense, brassy music, confident and driving, a great propulsive swing to it. Half hidden behind a column, a man sat on a high wooden stool, body wrapped around the long golden shape of the saxophone he played with a superbly controlled abandon. No one in the corridor but me, and his music swelled like a warm golden current. I recognized the tune, though I couldn’t name it – an upbeat jazz standard, something from a musical? It didn’t matter; it was a song about the will and nerve to go forward, to walk out into the night with the sure knowledge that more awaited you than exhaustion and loss. There is in us, the music said, refusal, will, momentum, joy. I was startled by what it called to mind – the watercolored drawings I’d seen weeks before in London, elongated women and men veiled and rayed in warm yellows, layers of golden light: the human form divine. Halfway down the corridor I turned back, walked to where the musician sat and dropped the two dollars I had into the open instrument case at his feet. He didn’t look up or otherwise acknowledge me. Maybe a very slight tip of the head? Either he didn’t care or was pouring himself entirely into those passages, making a corridor of his own out of this burnished splendor made with his own breath. A corridor I walked down, all the way to the A, and felt warmed by even after the doors of the train car closed.

—p.144 by Granta 2 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] When I came to the wide descending hallway that leads to the turnstiles, the air filled with a dense, brassy music, confident and driving, a great propulsive swing to it. Half hidden behind a column, a man sat on a high wooden stool, body wrapped around the long golden shape of the saxophone he played with a superbly controlled abandon. No one in the corridor but me, and his music swelled like a warm golden current. I recognized the tune, though I couldn’t name it – an upbeat jazz standard, something from a musical? It didn’t matter; it was a song about the will and nerve to go forward, to walk out into the night with the sure knowledge that more awaited you than exhaustion and loss. There is in us, the music said, refusal, will, momentum, joy. I was startled by what it called to mind – the watercolored drawings I’d seen weeks before in London, elongated women and men veiled and rayed in warm yellows, layers of golden light: the human form divine. Halfway down the corridor I turned back, walked to where the musician sat and dropped the two dollars I had into the open instrument case at his feet. He didn’t look up or otherwise acknowledge me. Maybe a very slight tip of the head? Either he didn’t care or was pouring himself entirely into those passages, making a corridor of his own out of this burnished splendor made with his own breath. A corridor I walked down, all the way to the A, and felt warmed by even after the doors of the train car closed.

—p.144 by Granta 2 months, 3 weeks ago