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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
When is the subway not a subway? When it's elevated.
On days when I'm not meant to be in any particular place at any particular time, I might find myself exiting the F train at the Smith and 9th Street stop for no particular reason.
I'm hovering now over the wanton Gowanus Canal some 88 feet above the ground. From this highest of all heights, I can watch a grounded worker below toss windows one after the other from the back of an albino box truck into a 40-yard dumpster. His partner standing in the midst smashes the plate glass with a metal rod and salvages the aluminum frames. The dumpster already contains a vast amount of glass shards. They've obviously been doing this for a long while.
From this heavenly place, one can almost certainly behold, day or night, an endless queue of 18 wheelers stranded absolutely still on the BQE. Their drivers again, almost certainly, believing they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Loitering as I do on the platform, I peer through its stainless steel mesh windows down into The Canal. When her surface is absolutely still, it reminds me most of a can of freshly spilled oil-based enamel paint spreading out in front of me, not quite the iconic color of historic Charleston's ironwork... Close to, but not exactly, Hunter Green with a fair amount of Lamp Black.
If I was as accomplished a painter as say John Singer Sargent I'd ask her to pose for me. Her portrait I would likely carry with me from place to place until my death.