Picture of the Day
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February 27, 1998

26feb98, NYC - It was sunny for what seemd to be the first time in weeks so instead of sitting at my butcher block kitchen counter I crossed First Avenue and sat at one of the Scoop & Grind's green plastic sidewalk tables. All the tables were free b/c they were still in shade but it didn't take long for the sun to come out from behind a high-rise and when it did I took off my jacket.  
I thought I'd do a lot of editing on my interminable novel Vegetable Dreams, but instead I sat drinking two jumbo coffees watching people's shadows pass on the sidewalk. Most of the people at the other tables were licking ice cream cones, except for the old man behind me who checked his watch between each sip of coffee. I spilled mine b/c it turned out that my table was missing a leg and was propped on a brick planter that wasn't quite high enough to keep things level.

A man with six Thai Ridgebacks gathered a crowd of admirers, including one aristocratic-sounding lady who asked if they were recognized by the Kennel Club, which they're not. "I have three bloodlines," the breeder said. "$30,000 by the time I got started. Now I have 150 dogs in America."
The woman whose little daughter never took off her bicycle helmet asked me about cameras and whether I'd noticed the partial eclipse. That was the first I'd heard of it, but I noted with sadness how quickly the sun had vaulted the narrow space between buildings, like a child playing hide and seek ducking from tree to tree.
As the shadow of an apartment building inched up the sidewalk towards us, I overheard the woman behind me say, "Their dad died a few years ago but they left his voice on the answering machine. 'Atkins residence,' it says. Isn't that strange?" and everyone laughed.