Since last week, we celebrated Halloween (more below) and I wound up getting a
little bit sick afterward (COVID negative, verified) with, I guess, the flu.
Thankfully, I had gotten a flu shot earlier this year, and the onset was quick
and the release was similarly quick. I took two days off and recuperated at
While the 31st was warm, Tuesday marked a turning point, and
Wednesday night had a cold snap. I started to ail on Tuesday night.
Apparently, Lauren tells me, I laid down for a nap and didn’t move until about
0300 the next morning. Lauren had been unable to rouse me, so she’d covered me
with a sleeping bag. Waking up then, I was able to piece together what must
have happened (sleeping in my robe?). I got some more medicine and water and
was feeling overheated because our radiators were gurgling at that moment.
Now those who don’t live in this part of the world might find it strange to
hear that we don’t control our heating. There’s no thermostat. If you’re too
hot, open the window. In fact, since most of NYC prewar buildings were built
during the pandemics of the teens and twenties, the radiators in our buildings
are designed to heat the rooms to acceptable with windows open so that you
could have fresh air circulate, even in winter (part of the “miasma” theory of
I opened up the window, and the lip was cool to the touch. I immediately felt
the cool creep into the kitchen and follow me back into the living room.
Nestling back into my sleeping bag, I was warm and fell back asleep comfortably
until about 0700 when I awoke and closed the windows. Moments later the
radiators sputtered to life and dissolved away the chill.
The following night, the colder night, I did the same, retiring to bed with
fresh air. Given all the press during COVID about socializing outdoors being
safer, getting fresh air in the house made the living room more pleasant and
reduced risks for Lauren — or so I figured. From inside my cocoon, I
could smell wood fire from some of the legacy fireplaces in the neighborhood. I
could hear the crisp coolness of winter lurking out in the velvet blue night.
For once, even, it seemed that the car horns were giving it a rest. I drifted
off. Around 0400, I awoke and closed the window again and woke up again around
It was strange to have the outdoors come in and join me indoors, but it’s
stranger yet to think that no humans before this time ever felt such a divorce
from the outside to the in. It felt strangely natural.
On Halloween, we participated in the returned Greenwich Village Halloween
Evening Parade. After years off due to COVID, it was fun to participate in this
tradition again. There had been some question as to whether it could even
happen. At the last minute the governmental thumbs-up came, but then there was
a small 125,000 fee that the organization was short on and had precious little
time to put together. But a donor came to the rescue and they made the thing
The parade route is open to all who wish to participate. Along 6th
Avenue from Canal up to 14th street are blocked off for the
Here were our costumes for the parade:
We headed down to the parade entrance route off of Canal street and enqueued in
the marching line. It was a surprisingly warm evening. Most of the time it’s a
pretty cold, and occasionally rainy, night. Things started off well, but after
we’d gone about a quarter of a mile the line stalled. To this day, I don’t know
why. People started crowding and pushing and Lauren and I made a well-formed
executive decision to bail out.
We hoped a police fence (no small feat for a Lauren in a dress!) and headed
into the Village in search for something to eat. The neighborhood was hopping
as NYU kids and the various denizens were in costume making merry. There was
music on the street and food everywhere. We eventually stopped at the “World’s
Wurst” (get it, bratwurst and similar?) and had some grilled food.
Since the parade route hate most of the streets blocked off, we had to go all
the way up to Union Square to get to the trains home. All told, we wound up on
a parallel course to the parade, saw plenty of costumes, and got plenty of
smiles. We even rounded the Washington Arch and could see that the night was
truly going to be epically remembered by those of a generation and youthful
vigor that hangover cannot touch.
A few days later, we rounded out our Halloween festivities by watching
“Bettlejuice” which, frankly, has been great since 1988 and continues to
thrill. I know what’s going to happen, but I’m always delighted to see Michael
Keaton make it happen when it does. Amid the ongoing discussions of income
inequality that are in the gestalt right now the skewering line from
Beetlejuice hit home:
Welcome to Winter River, museum of natural greed; a monument to the bored
That’s before he “Test Your Strength” launches Dick Cavett and his date through
It’s a bit of a surprise, but this Friday this guy went go for his “Senior
Panel.” He was due for a few vaccines, too (canine flu and leptosporosis) He’s
having a rough night, but we’re trying to take good care of him. We knew he
wasn’t feeling well when he refused mozzarella cheese.
He shows no real signs of being a “senior” dog (except being slightly more
crotchety toward fights and big puppies). We’ll wait for the blood work and
hope it’s still a clean bill of health for the little guy.
He also got a grooming last weekend, so this level of immaculate coif has
already faded to the recesses of time.