I chose three settings from different cities that are close to my heart and imagination, Cork City, Boston, and of course New York. The backgrounds are done with watercolors while objects in the foreground are in pastel for the texture.
AND, one of my chalkboard creations for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum was recently used by Ilya Marritz for WNYC Radio as a banner for a short interview with the Head of Education. It was a pleasant surprise to find.
It is 11pm. A family gets on the D train, all dressed up and heading to wherever home is.
They are quiet, the two children indulging in sleepiness.
The young boy sits by his dad near the window and before the father is even done adjusting to sit, the boy leans into him. They wiggle and maneuver until the child, legs curled on seat, head resting on dad’s stomach is comfortable. They are a pair in matching dress pants and leather shoes.
The even younger girl, sits with her mother and tries to imitate her sibling, but with no train wall to brace her feet against, it isn’t quite as graceful. She keeps having to switch position as the tulle skirt of her dress slips along the smooth orange seat. She is so tired that she sleeps through all her own movement.
This little family makes me so happy in their dress clothes and warm winter coats. I don’t know what kind of evening they are coming from, but it reminds me of the New York City version of when my family would get all dressed up to go see a holiday musical. The magic of a special night together. Feeling all grown up, staying up late, and beautiful in fancy clothes.
This family speaks Spanish to each other as they head uptown. The woman makes eye contact with me and we smile across the aisle. She knows I have been watching her little ones doze off.
Is this a family that will be in danger in the coming months? I am not sure. I don’t know this particular family’s story, but there are so many like them that may need protecting. My heart is prepared to stand up, support, and help in whatever way it can, but have I taken the responsibility of gathering the tools I will need to make this desire into a reality. What exactly is at stake? What resources will be needed to make sure these children grow up in love and safety?
The mom eventually picks up the daughter and cradles her child on her lap between two arms. Dad supports her stretched out feet with one hand. For many stops they hold this position, without letting go of the magical night they have created together.
Rocking thoughts is a serious of short observations made on the New York subway. An interesting cross section and environment that is truly and as much this city.