New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Friday, January 07, 2005

Friday Night; Still at Work at 8:37 p.m.

My long workday has come to an end, but now I am waiting for my wife to finish up at her job. I work at Esquire, which is on Broadway and 58th Street, and Jenn works at Newsweek, which happens to be right across the street. We didn't plan it this way, but it worked out nicely.

Until just a few minutes ago I was working too, but I "closed" the section I was working on, and now I'm just tidying up my area, blogging, and waiting to take the subway home to Brooklyn with my wife. Also I'm drinking a beer. Our managing editor was kind enough to bring up a couple of six packs of Sierra Nevada, which isn't one of my favorite beers, but I'll admit that this one (and the one before it) tastes darn good.

Today was a good day in New York. I was pretty busy but of course that doesn't mean I was lacking for email or keeping up to date with the news of the world, which generally falls in the bad category: tsunami agony, more U.S. deaths in Iraq, government malfeasance, etc.

Friday is a wonderful day of the week and I'm happy to have two days of leisure ahead of me, but I also have a few things to do over the weekend, particularly early Sunday morning, which will put a crimp in my Saturday Night Fever. We have "Kagami Biraki" at karate on Sunday morning, which is New Year's training. It begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp, but as a new black belt (shodan) we have to help set things up, so I need to arrive at 7:00 a.m.

Kagami Biraki is a big, early morning workout, where literally hundreds of kareteka (people who do karate) get together and go through a tough workout to commit to train hard in the coming year. The idea is all about spirit: if you have spirit to share, you bring it, and if you need some spirit to help keep going, you come and take it. It's a very loud and energetic, and I suppose it's hard to imagine if you haven't been there, but it's a very unique and empowering experience that I'm looking forward to, despite the early hour. There are so many people, so much energy, and so much sweat, that all the mirrors and all the windows in the dojo get completely steamed up. Then at the end of the workout Kaicho opens the windows and the cool, fresh air rushes in and you feel terrific. The dojo is on 23rd Street off Sixth Avenue in Chelsea.

As for tonight, Jenn and I will go home, probably pick up takeout from some local joint in Brooklyn, and hang out. Maybe there'll be a good movie on cable we can watch. We don't pay those big cable bills for nothing.

As for the New York report: it seems to be a mild evening, societally. Of course I say that from the 13th floor of an office building. If I was down on the streets I might have a different asssessment. But the vibe I'm getting of my fellow New Yorkers is mellow and kind.


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