[written May 4:] The Q train is a nice one. It comes up from underground and goes over the Manhattan Bridge. I have taken it twice now during the evening rush hour. I never noticed before how quiet people are on a crowded subway train. It's like a library in there, and those that aren't reading are staring at their shoes or off into space. But when the daylight hits the keyed-up windows, all heads turn to look outside at the New York skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson River.
I already have a list of about 25 things I want to do this weekend. It's hard to vacation here when you're working all the time. I did some real work at work today, which is going great, even though my new office has military-grade toilet paper and no container recycling. And for lunch I went and got a fancy mixed salad. I think I might have mentioned this a year or so ago, but they do this thing here that they really should do in Northampton, where you pick the type of lettuce and four ingredients and dressing and a guy mixes it all up, chops it, dresses it, and then mixes it some more, before usually throwing a piece of bread on top and sending you on your way. I am still trying to get used to how things are priced here; my salad was $8.50. I am embarrassed to admit that when I saw the "850" the guy had written on the lid, I thought it might be some kind of code for the cashier and couldn't possibly be the price. P.S.: With tax it was $9.23.
I live and work in a kind of a fancy neighborhood. Across the street (Fifth Ave.) from my office is an Anthropologie, a J. Crew, and a Banana Republic. At this point I have browsed all of them. And at all of them, the cheapest and most common price for a skirt is $88, and for a simple top, $48. After looking at clothes for a while today, I started noticing the price, and if the skirt was $88 instead of $98 or $149, I'd actually consider it. This is why people go crazy with the spending here. There's also a small boutique place on my way home, called Agnes B or something, and I went in because the clothes looked simple and not ostentatious. And absolutely everything in there - a dress, a sweater, a silk shirt - cost $240. Good lord. So far I have bought nothing (save a couple of magazines and lots of food) but I don't know how much longer that can last.
There's Shape-Note Singing this weekend; Saturday is in Manhattan, Sunday in Brooklyn. I will try to make the Saturday one; It’s in the East Village, at The Living Room. Rock.