Saturday, September 5, 2015

In Pleasantville New York, Wilbo Unravels the Damage Done During a Comedy of Errors in Brooklyn.

Tuesday morning in Brooklyn snarled into a Comedy of Errors. My iPhone had died. I had a car charger, left my wall charger at home. I had correspondence to write and I sat behind my driver's wheel and wrote emails. It hadn't taken too long, including a back and forth correspondence with a friend in San Diego. I was beating the heat with all four windows down and using the battery to charge. Hitting send, I flipped the switch to roll up my windows and the windows slowly rose up and then halted. The starter wouldn't catch, and I rolled my eyes at my stupidity. I now had a disabled car on a street in a transitional neighborhood in Brooklyn. Remember how a 747 Jetliner is dismantled in Lord of War? I imagined that fate for my Subaru if I left it.

Getting a jump was as simple as a call. I remember getting lockout service on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles one night in 2007 and that had cost 150 dollars. State Farm reimbursed me without a blink, thank goodness. I didn't want to learn the Brooklyn rate for a jump. So first, I just let the car sit, hoping the charge would rebuild. And I stood beside my car with the open windows, thinking of looking for a jump.

The battery did rebound enough to allow the automatic locks to work, allowing me to lock the doors. The charge allowed the windows to almost close. A few cranks wasn't enough to turn over the engine, though. 

I had been staying in the compound of a long time artist and sculptor, a wunderkind who had celebrated forty years working and exhibiting in New York City. He had everything, including jumper cables. He had to greet a house guest and I got the car ready for a jump. 

Raising the hood of a late model Subaru isn't easy. Luckily, Van's Oil Change had kept my fluids topped off and I had never raised the hood. With the handle of pliers I always keep handy, I was able to pop open the latch. These I fumbled and the pliers came to rest in the radiator compartment. I put aside my glasses on top the side panel near the hood. These slid off into the curbside grass.

So after fishing out the pliers with my fishing rod, I stepped into the grass and my shoe bent my lenses into a three dimensional sculpture. 

I used the pliers and a cloth to soften any metal bite and made the pair wearable for driving. After my friend the sculptor gave me a jump from his 1973 Cutlass Supreme Convertible, I sat in my cab, writing more emails and allowed the battery to recharge by running the car for a half hour. Not exactly what I had pictured for my big day in Brooklyn.

So I was delayed to the Flushing and Broadway station to take the M line into Soho and tour art galleries. I walked the streets confidently. I had to get closer to read the signage. Great art is still great art even if it is blurry.

Leaving Brooklyn today, I had my wonky glasses on my nose as I crossed the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan. I could read well enough the sign that marks the western border of Brooklyn: "Oy Veigh"! I took the first right onto Clinton and passed by bakeries and patios of wine bars, lively with New Yorkers. A delivery van tailgated, and only very aggressive driving kept him from beeping his horn to penalize a second of indecision. I saw few places to park and just as well. I wanted to be home by Friday morning and that meant pulling my head out of heady, heady, heady New York City. I zipped over to the main road of the east shore of Manhattan, the FDR, and travel slowed to a crawl. Illusion suggested that the river was running north here as I studied the stone walls of a university near Central Park. A series of tugs and barges plowed the river, raising a permanent wave off their bows. The traffic came upon a collision with ambulances after a half hour, and I crossed a bridge over the Harlem River to enter the Bronx.

I drove the most convenient parkway I could stumble upon out of The Bronx, the Saw Mill River Parkway and finally decided to pick a town for a stop. Hence, I arrived in Pleasantville, home of Pace University and cooler, Reader's Digest. I found a fashionable ophthalmologist, Fetish Optique, and the father and son stared at the challenge I laid on their counter. "The lens is popping," said the father. "Bent in three different directions!" said the son. "The metal could snap, you understand!" said the father. I nodded and the two worked together in a work room and I winced at a series of snaps and pops. The father came out of the room with a smile on his face and set the frames on my face. "That's good", he said. "That's a miracle! Thank you for your kindness".

Next door, a young man named Gabriel was available to give me a hair cut. "What would look good?" I asked. "Options are limited", he said after a few second's study. "How about same length all around?" "Yes, same length all around", and I took my place in Gabriel's chair.
 — at Jacob Burns Film Center.

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