The end of September 2018

After a dramatic week of turmoil with the US Supreme Court confirmation hearings (coverage of which you  may find elsewhere), I was really looking for solace.

September 29, 2018, was something for being David Wright Day, on the penultimate game of the year for the NY Mets, playing against the Miami Marlins.

I had mixed feelings because we had started the season with such positive energy – all to watch everything go to blech, and meanwhile, David Wright, the captain of the team, kept trying to come back.

“Fourteen years and over 1,500 games later, Wright is wrapping up a career that has been both brilliant and heartbreaking.” – Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News.

I was reading the above line in the dead tree edition of the Daily News and all I could think was: yeah, David Wright sums up the Mets’ years of roller coaster rides – “brilliant and heartbreaking” indeed.

More heartbreak than not (I was reminded of the recent video clips of the say goodbye to Shea), but I do appreciate happy times.

As the Associated Press report notes, Wright got a nice ovation.

It was a celebration, not merely a farewell, but I hadn’t felt that sad in so long when watching a Mets game (that is, unrelated to seeing the score). All of it was such a bittersweet TV moment.

(I watched the game on TV; I’ve managed not to go to Citfield for awhile now).

And, thankfully, after such a long game (zero to zero for so many innings, even extra innings), what a relief that the NY Mets won on David Wright Day after all (in typical, extra-innings, too many men left on base, and oh well, fashion).

Thanks for all you’ve done as a Met, David Wright. Tip of the baseball cap back right at you.

Speaking of what feels like observing changes in eras: I had been somewhere earlier on Saturday, September 29, 2018, and I heard “Free Fallin'” in the store background music.

I then remembered: oh, wait, Tom Petty’s not around.

By coincidence, I then saw from NPR that there’s going to be a posthumous release of Petty’s music from Petty’s vault.

It’s weird to realize that we’re in a world without anymore Prince or Tom Petty (see here for FC’s post from last October, and here for mine from when Petty passed last year) – and even, as of this year, Aretha Franklin.

I remain not hip to music, but still: these were performing artists who were the soundtracks of our lives.

See here over at Vulture for an interesting interview with the archivist tasked to archive and sort Prince’s vault and, unsurprisingly,  NPR covered a posthumous release of a Prince recording.

Between Petty and Prince, it’d be curious to know what is in their respective vaults…

The Star Trek folks posted a link on their official Facebook page that it’s the anniversary of a classic ST: The Next Generation episode, 27 years ago on September 30, 1991: “Darmok.”

I liked that the linked article over that the Star Trek official site, by Mark Newbold, covered how “Darmok” was made, what happened during the episode, and the significance of it on trivial and deeper levels.

I was a kid back when I first watched the episode, and I hardly understood what was going on in that episode.

But, I recognized that it was the great character actor Paul Winfield under the alien makeup, and that something very interesting was happening with how Picard, as played by Patrick Stewart, was trying to find a non-violent way to interact with another species.

As I got older and re-watched the episode, the episode became more powerful because I had a better understanding of what was happening and realizing the metaphors involved.

“Darmok” is an episode worth watching more than once, to really appreciate how shared stories – and overcoming language barriers with finding something in common, like stories – may bridge gaps.

That lesson is probably still an important thing to think about in today’s world. I’d make this episode a required viewing for leadership and negotiations courses, in addition to linguistics and literature (but that may be just me).

Plus, Patrick Stewart matched up so well with a great actor like Paul Winfield, whose charisma, warmth, and tragic aura shone brightly.

(Spoiler/not-spoiler after so many years – hmmm… kind of weird to realize that Winfield played two characters in the Star Trek world universe died terribly sadly).

To a much lesser extent: as Newbold pointed out in the linked article, the episode of “Darmok” was the first appearance of Ashley Judd as Ensign Robin Lefler  (a character who had her moments in TNG, and in Star Trek books), and the first appearance of the Picard jacket.

The Picard jacket usually signaled Action Hero Picard – but was just as much about the active mind in Picard, because he had to be a hell of a lot clever than usual to get out of sticky situations, and that seemed to occur a lot when Picard wore that jacket.

I wouldn’t have realized either points about Ensign Lefler and the Picard Jacket until Newbold noted that, and I had to nod over how much fun that was to realize that.

We’re living in weird times. Find fun where and when you can…

Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect 2018

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

-“Try to Remember,” from The Fantasticks.

I’m amazed by how time passes, and how sometimes it feels like everything is okay. But, sometimes, when the sky is that blue like it was on that day, and if there was some hint of memory of what was, I start feeling sad. And, last week, the test runs of the Tribute of Lights made me thoughtful.

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, just a few days before September 11, 2018, MTA finally reopened the Cortlandt Street subway station for the 1 train  – now renamed WTC Cortlandt St.  I have so many feelings about this. I’d walk by the side of the Oculus hub; I’d see the sign for “the future access to the 1” and I kept wondering when was that happening, and now it’s real.

I remembered when the MTA had reopened the 1 train’s tunnel underneath the World Trade Center after September 11, 2001. It had felt like a stunning miracle, after the death and destruction. But, that destroyed Cortlandt Street station remained the subway station that didn’t come back, while the R and the A/C/E subway lines’ stations did come back.

I had walked by the A/C/E side at one point and my eyes grew teary when I recognized where that spot was on the floor to the entry would have led to the Warner Brothers store upstairs of the World Trade Center (or so I told myself, because my memory was never any good). And, of course, upstairs and all around was that community – the people who came and went through that whole complex, what made life real – wasn’t there anymore.

I was always more a downtown person, even when I had attended Alma Mater up in Morningside Heights (the nature of being from Brooklyn: everything is uptown anyway). I had looked to the Twin Towers as the compass to help me figure out where I was; as architecture, not everyone liked them – but I did. (see here, for instance, for Gothamist’s review of the 20th century commentary on the WTC’s architecture).

For a very long time, I felt it was too easy to be lost. But, now there’s a new World Trade Center. The area has changed a lot. The memorial is a beautiful, reflective area. The Sphere has returned. The rebuilding of the destroyed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church is still in progress.

It sometimes feels very surreal to see that there’s so much commercialism, but there was a mall years ago anyway. However, the sense of luxury that’s there now, especially over at the World Financial Center (sorry – now “Brookfield Place”), wasn’t quite what had been there. Downtown was more about the hustle – you got to get to where you were going, or you don’t know what you were missing.

Sure, a subway station is back, but there’s more to it than that. It’s 17 years. All these years later, I wonder how much we are missing, and whether we have grown or should I keep hoping somehow that things will be better.

I am curious to see the art (and the possibility of a climate-controlled subway station?). The reopening of the all the subway stations after 9/11, and after Super Storm Sandy when it felt like a setback, have somehow reminded me that life keeps going.

See here for the NY Times article by Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Winnie Hu on the reopening of this Cortlandt Street station, complete with a mosaic by Ann Hamilton with the words of the Declaration of Independence and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

See here for the tumblr post by MTA Arts & Design on the mosaic.

See here for Gothamist’s coverage of the Cortlandt Street station reopening.

As done before, some photos:

Above that photo I had taken some years ago at the Brooklyn Promenade.
I had also taken this photo a couple of years ago at the Brooklyn Promenade.
I took this one on Sept. 10, 2012, via my old phone.
Photo that I took on Sept. 10, 2012, via my old phone.

See here for last year’s post, and here for the 2016 post, to access the links to earlier posts here on triscribe on this day.

Take a moment to pause and reflect, and thanks for being here.

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)