I almost forgot to post tonight!
Because random things happen, I was invited to Gracie Mansion to be part of the Mayor’s celebration of Women’s History Month. No, I’m serious.
The existence of Gracie Mansion (the home of New York City’s mayors since the 1940s when Fiorello LaGuardia moved in) is a favorite thing of mine. It sits on the water at the north end of a lovely city park. I used to work at a community center a few blocks away, and we used to take our students to the park to write poetry looking out at the river. Because the Mayor’s house is there, and maybe just because, it’s an incredibly clean and safe park. We always wrote lots of fabulous poems. I always seemed to be writing haikus there. Odd.
But in all those trips, I never thought about going into the house. I wasn’t anything even vaguely resembling a fan of the man who lived there at that time, so maybe that was why I didn’t think of visiting. Maybe I just assumed we wouldn’t be allowed in.
That, apparently, wasn’t true then. And it isn’t true now. Our current Mayor chooses not to live at Gracie. He has chosen to stay in the house he lived in before being elected. He still uses the mansion — for meetings, for events like the one tonight — but his decision to make his home elsewhere means that more of the house is visit-able now than in the past. So that’s kind of cool.
I went with three co-worker friends. We took a tour of the first floor and then just wandered in and out of rooms. The house is lovely. Stiff and museum-y, but also not. Two of the rooms in particular — the Patent Yellow room on the first floor and what looks like a guest bedroom upstairs — looked particularly welcoming. I could eaily imagine myself curled up with a book on one of those yellow couches or in that cushy bed. And what I wouldn’t give for that river view and the fabulous tall-as-I-am windows that glide all the way up to open the front rooms onto the porch. Gorgeous.
And there’s the Mayor, telling some really not very good jokes at the start of his talk. Hey, not everyone can be a comedian, right? I was standing next to Police Commissioner Kelly during this part of the evening … and, in true Stacie fashion, not figuring out who he was. I kept looking at him and thinking, “That guy issomebody. Who is that guy? Well, he’s somebody I should know. Who is he?” Yeah. And not placing him at all until I came home and saw him in context: on the news page that opens up when I go online. I did recognize Schools Commissioner Walcott when I saw him, however. One for two isn’t great, but neither is it a complete fail.
And now let’s return to our regularly scheduled normal course of events in my life … check out the rest of today’s slices at Two Writing Teachers.