Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 100: Elegy for the Anthora

That iconic cup
Happily serving us with
Steaming elixir

(It never occurred to me that NY's omnipresent Grecian urn coffee cup had been designed by a human; I always assumed it had descended from Mount Olympus. It turns out that both the cup and the man have an interesting story.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 99: one of the many joys of apartment life

What are they cooking?
The funk seeps through doors and walls
Like a toxic haze

(The other night I walked into our apartment and was assaulted by such a horrible odor that I assumed the cat had had some kind of smelly accident. We traced the smell to, of all places, the kitchen closet. I became worried that an especially smelly mouse had somehow managed to sneak into our building and die in our closet. I held the flashlight while Intrepid Boyfriend searched every inch of the closet. We finally determined that the smell was emanating from the wall. Our neighbor's kitchen is on the other side of that wall; our kitchens share a fire escape. What could they have possibly been eating that night? Rodent souffle? Stewed garbage? More importantly, can I send them our dry cleaning bill?)

Day 98: kind of depressing

She takes a long drag
Then pushes her child's stroller
With renewed vigor

(Venture just a few blocks away and you're in helicopter parent territory, but in my neighborhood it's not uncommon to watch parents chain smoke with one hand while pushing a baby carriage with the other. I am always tempted to say something, but then I remind myself that it's really none of my business. Right?)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 97: April showers

An atonal wash
From the pavement to the sky
A study in gray

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 96

If I must get hit
As I ride my bike to work
Let it be a Benz

(Yes, Mom. I'm extremely careful. You don't need to write a comment telling me to be careful. I'm more careful than the drivers.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 95

Sari-clad sisters
Bright shoulder to bright shoulder
Sharing one iPod

(The two young women had such a protective look as they huddled around a single iPod, each with one headphone. It was like they were protecting a flickering candle.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 94: thoughts on a New York icon

"Peel a carrot, then
Put it in your other hand
It's a new machine!"

(Ever since the death of the famous vegetable peeler man, his adult daughter has taken over the job of hawking Swiss-made vegetable peelers all over the city. I love that she uses almost the exact same loud, British-accented patter that her father used. He always referred to the peeler as his "machine" while skillfully demonstrating the best way to julienne a potato. Every time we peel a carrot [which Intrepid Boyfriend did last night], we feel compelled to recite part of his sales pitch in homage.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 93: if I tried that, I'd lose an eye

With her makeup bag
The subway duckling becomes
A beautiful swan

(Her dexterity was as amazing as her portable beauty arsenal. Over the course of our commute she applied foundation, liquid eyeliner, mascara, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, cheekbone highlighter, and then topped it all off by waving a paintbrush that seemed to dispense some kind of goo all over her face.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 92: vocabulary building

"Kick his ass, Aidan*!"
Hell hath no fury like a
Toddler soccer dad

(They say the Vale of Cashmere is the most dangerous part of Prospect Park, but the people who say that have never seen a toddler soccer league game. It's a simple program: children learn teamwork, make friends, refine their gross motor skills...and gain valuable exposure to obscenities thanks to Aidan's dad.

*This haiku is based on an actual event, but the boy's name wasn't Aidan [anonymity, blah blah blah]. However, I will bet you money that at least one of the kids in the group was named Aidan. You can't swing a canvas shopping bag at the Greenmarket without hitting an Aidan.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 91: the delights of anticipation

Anxiously we wait
For the rogue honeysuckle's
Fragrant revival

(There is a mysterious honeysuckle climbing the fence near my subway stop. I noticed some early alien-like buds this afternoon. In the summer, hundreds of people walk past it every day, inhaling deeply before moving onward with a slightly lovestruck air. In the morning it's invigorating; at dusk it's intoxicating. For me that hypnotically sweet scent is one of the definitive aromas of summer in Brooklyn [and one of the few pleasant ones]. Last summer, in a shocking move that left the neighborhood's collective head spinning, the honeysuckle bloomed twice.)

(P.S. Remember that time on Day 89 that I thought I had a cold? It turns out I have tonsillitis. Yes, adults get tonsillitis. And anyone who can come up with a haiku about tonsillitis gets my undying admiration.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 90: a celebratory freebie

And as a special bonus, a bit of ego-stroking:

A smallish milestone
But impressive nonetheless
Ninety haiku down!

(That's 1/4 of the way through, for those of you keeping score at home.)

Day 90: mental travels

Let's pretend the noise
Of cars on Ocean Parkway
Is the sound of waves

(When you need to escape from studying for your very last set of law school final exams EVER [and a really lousy head cold], you take what you can get, which isn't much. If that means sitting under a halogen lamp and pretending the sound of traffic below your window is the soothing sound of the ocean's eternal waves -- well, any port in a storm.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 89

Today's agenda:
Spend the day in pajamas
Fighting off a cold

(A losing battle.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 88: what are the odds?

We exchange a smile
As we turn the pages of
Identical books

(We were both reading The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood. I highly recommend it.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 87: A rant

Hey there screaming kid
Mommy has priorities
That's why she's texting

(Intrepid Boyfriend and I go out for dinner very rarely, so when we do we want it to be special. You know what is the opposite of special? Trying to enjoy a meal while a nearby mother busily fiddles with her Blackberry, studiously ignoring Hellion 1 as he runs around the restaurant, touching things on other people's tables, and the other stands, shrieking like a banshee, in the middle of the room. On the other hand, it made for pretty effective birth control.)

Day 86: Happy Hanami!

An urban respite
Cherry blossoms fall like snow
Welcoming the spring

(The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an amazing wonderland of rosy pink blossoms. It's one of the few places where I can forget my cares. Plus, if you are very lucky, you may see the baby red-tailed hawk that I saw in a tree near the Cherry Esplanade.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 85: unexpected beauty

An explosion of
Bright wisteria accents
A graffitied wall

(Each element was beautiful in its own way, and together they were perfect.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 84: more meditations on pigeons

I try to duck, but
The pigeon grazes my head
With its filthy wing

(People laugh when I say this, but I'm not exaggerating: my head is a pigeon magnet. I am a also bit of a mysophobe. I have the good sense to recognize that this makes for frequent comical situations.)

Day 83: Subway Psychology 201: Failed Flirtations

Court: noticed your smile
Bergen: your sparkling blue eyes
Smith: your wedding band

(This is an oldie-but-goody [i.e. from the days before I met Intrepid Boyfriend) that I dug out of my reserves because thinking about these incidents still cracks me up. Maybe it's just part of living in Brooklyn, but all of the attractive men on the subway are either wearing wedding rings or holding hands with another guy. Sometimes both.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 82: Divine intervention on Joralemon Street

Before I know it
The Bible is in my hand
Those sly Gideons

(I knew they left Bibles in hotel rooms, but did you know that some stalwart Gideons hand them out on the street? I usually don't even fall prey to people with restaurant fliers, and yet I recently became the accidental owner of a pocket-sized green Bible. It seemed rude to give it back. What should I do with it? Suggestions?)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 81: Heard on Smith Street

A jazzy whistle
Like a saxophone played by
A humorous bird

(I heard the fantastic whistling first, and only after a few moments was I able to trace it to the guy strolling by wearing a hard hat.)

Day 80: a job is a job

A packed minivan
Three men lie on 2x4s
Perched on shopping carts

(Seeing things like that remind me that my life is pretty great. These men were literally packed into a van full of building supplies, their faces and hands pressed against the ceiling as they lay across piles of stuff. That was the only way that they could fit in the van. I'm not explaining it very well. It was scary to see.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 79: An early sign of summer

Ice cream trucks provide
An unofficial soundtrack
On a sunny day

(Although Mayor Bloomberg declared war on Mr. Softee a few years back, his efforts failed. Those iconic white trucks piloted by sketchy men remain an integral part of warm-weather life in New York City. Like so many other things in this town, they seem both essential and mildly annoying.)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 78

Heading out of town
For a haiku hiatus
But I'll be back soon

(I don't normally travel very much, but this has been a busy couple of weeks! Back in a few days with more haiku.)