Saturday, September 10, 2011

1. Markets feel like home. 2. Experiments in ferry riding? 3. Waking up early makes the days seem long.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Learning to live alone, learning to know what you want.

I have a fear that I am only filling my days so that I do not have the opportunity to think, so I can have an excuse to keep moving forward for time to pass without tangible production. I have a lot of these fears, I suppose. I get anxious with night and empty apartments even though there is an endless list of the tasks I want to accomplish, things that require isolation, quite apartments, time. All things I seem to have and yet they make me uncomfortable, to be alone and sit. To turn all the lights on in the apartment just so it seems alive, awake. Can it possibly be true, what people say about New York, to be surrounded by people and still be alone? This reads as more depressing than I really am. Its just a learning experience, one I've been trying to master since college, to gage. I think it comes from a desire of not wanting to be wasteful, of absorbing every moment of that minute and time and yet sometimes taking it, absorbing it, appreciate it in a way that can only happen from accurate examination requires time. and space. and quiet.

There's been a lot swirling around my head this past week, my first week at StoryCorps/New York. First of all, I've been a sponge consuming stories. I'm reading Listening is an Act of Love,  one of the books by StoryCorps, listening to interviews while doing my own work, and listening to interviews for the all staff listening sessions. 

Strange things about New York as of late:

Being an outsider in a place that is supposed to feel like something familiar.  Its interesting coming here after Croatia, after the total separation, the almost luxury of being able to step away from a situation and say, hey listen, I'm outsider, i can play dumb i dont have to understand, in fact I can't understand because...well because? As the anniversary of 9/11 continues to encroach on the city as a heavy presence, dominating StoryCorps, the news, the internet and even its presence felt on your morning commute: there, in front of each door on my G train is a stalky navy dress police officer, taking notes, looking out windows, exchanging notes. One female police officer seemed to be crossing her fingers. I'm not even sure what they are looking for, trained to spot or what they would do if something was about to happen. but they are there. en masse. Not quite as intimidating as riot police but eerier in their silent presence among nose-in-book commuters.

The thing about 9/11 is my confusing of identity. This complex thing of 9/11 being specific and yet national. As an american are there not certain feelings i should have? But I'm not from New York. I didn't hear the sirens or smell the smoke or know more people than i have fingers who almost or were or worked or went in to save people in the World trade center that day. I was in 8th grade. It was the buzz. We watched on TV.

So here I am in New York after a year of maybe artificially, or out of ease,claiming distance from the complexity of Croatia's memories, or construction of a national narrative. I find myself wanting to resort to this solution: I can't understand! I know nothing! I'm not from New York! It's just not my battle, but it is? The nation-building project that surrounds 9/11 and the impact 9/11 has had on national identity is too close for me to step away from. I don't really know an America that is not at war. I don't know a New York skyline with the twin towers or a time when the Middle East wasn't a loaded conversation topic.

Sitting on the subway and reading and watching the police stand there, scribbling in their logs, and listening to the story of death certificate #1 at the friday production listen session at StoryCorps is a new exercise. When they killed Osama Bin Laden I was in Croatia. People asked me why America got to go kill whoever they wanted, why we didn't have to put him on trial. While there are a lot of answers, it was moment to think on America in the contemporary world, the complexity of individual, nation, and global. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hi everyone!

It is still rainy and gross outside here in New York. I caught a glimpse of muggy sunshine in a brief jaunt from the L to the 1st Ave bus, but it didn't last meaning my inspiration to go explore has quickly dwindled.

There's been a lot of exploring, however, of the computer world. The internet's new role in part-job seeking (even babysitting) or the highly technological office space where everything is wiki-ed or digital or color coded by google. Finding my way around the office doesn't so much include a walking tour but a digital one.

We've been talking a lot about how to explain StoryCorps, how to pitch it, and to really know what it is all about.  They have a pretty succinct and to the point mission....replicated here:

Our mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

check out the link in the post below!

Day Two at StoryCorps.

I'd like to start sharing some of their work here in case everyone isn't familiar. Right now there is a 9/11 project happening and here is a new animation from the 9/11 archive.

StoryCorps Animation

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Testing. Blogging via text message, the way of the future?