Labor Day in NY

Getting off at Delancey St., stumbled upon the filming of a Bollywood movie. They had covered the awnings of the stores with faux awnings to make Orchard St. look like a little India — so that instead of selling leather jackets they were selling saris, phonecards, etc. Stars; Sayif Ali Khan & Rani Mukherjee. (They weren’t there.) Woo hoo!

I wanted to stay and see the dance scene being filmed, but Gary was hungry, so we went into a little health food market/restaurant on Ludlow. Inside there was a small group of Amish people — I mean, I guess they were Amish — the women with the little cases covering their buns and long skirts. As I ate my scrambled eggs with tomatoes, I looked at a big book on early humans.

Spent a little time kicking around Soho. Looked at the complete Beckett and history of costume books at the bookstore on Prince St. G. bought a fountain pen (not a really expensive one) and I a Moleskine planner for next year. We took the train up to Central Park. I peed in an “emergency toilet.” We rode the carousel — the Wurlitzer played songs from the Wizard of Oz. G.’s feet didn’t reach the stirrups of his horse.

Then, coming out of the park, walking past the Dakota, who should we see walking down the street with a big entourage but Yoko Ono? She was smiling and very tiny.

Then, after a stop at Barnes & Noble by Lincoln Center, in front of which there is an astounding sculpture of gravity-defying boats, like an enormous bouquet, we went to have horrible “Thai” food. That was anticlimactic. But the fullness of the day totally made up for the badness of the food.

Onward to work, and to autumn.

Speaking of cells, I have a new cell phone. Like my old cell phone, it has a camera. Gary commented that I don’t really need a camera. I said, but I do, what if some guy is jerking off on the train and I need to take his picture to give to the police (As one woman did to the owner of a Manhattan raw food restaurant — whose specialty is, ironically enough nut milk…)? I have often encountered such situations both here in NY and in Japan (once in an old cemetery). Theoretically, they shouldn’t be a problem — no more so than, say, blowing one’s nose or pulling on one’s earlobe — but the problem is that as a woman I always see the spectacle of public male masturbation as a potential prelude to, or a substitute for, an assault.

What if humans could do everything in public? Is that what we are moving towards, as a culture?

I don’t mind seeing people kissing in public but I hate to hear it — that sound of sticky flesh separating, sucking air through moisture. It nauseates me, as if I were obliged to sit next to someone eating a banana in the morning.

There was an article in the paper today about a couple who culled their embryos of those with a deadly colon-cancer gene. The article said that in order to test a three-day embryo’s DNA, doctors had to remove a single cell. The article went on to say that the effects of removing one cell from an embryo with eight cells was still unknown. EIGHT CELLS. The tone of the article was so prosaic — pure reportage — how blithely we take in facts like THE POSSIBILITY OF REMOVING ONE CELL from an EIGHT-CELL biological entity. How did we get here, and where do we go?