1. It's hot here in New York. It's hot everywhere, I realize, but there's something special about acres of concrete and steel and a sprinkling of trees arranged in a grid under direct sun with exhaust trapped inside.
2. You can buy an iPhone on eBay, but they cost more than the ones in the stores. You can even buy a slightly used iPhone with an image of Jesus burned into a slice of toast as your wallpaper. And for $894, the price of the Jesus Toast iPhone includes the slice of toast.
3. At least once a day, there will be a man or woman on the train walking the length of the car announcing the story of their homelessness to the passengers, 99% of whom respond by staring down at their book or their iPod or the suddenly intriguing pattern of gum stains on the floor. Newcomers to New York, if they have a good heart, will give them money. New Yorkers love their anonymity and see homeless people every day, so they usually do not. If an unfortunate soul asks for food or money, whatever you can spare, I can respect that. The best solution in this situation is to keep a granola bar in your bag and give that to them. They're tasty as hell, and everyone needs fiber in their diet.
3a. Another reason why New Yorkers are wary of the homeless is that quite a few of them are batshit crazy. The general rule is that if you see someone who looks slightly wonky and is talking to himself, don't make eye contact with him. It brings him out of his reverie and usually causes him to hate you for judging him. And he'll probably start saying nasty things to you, or at least mutter them to himself. Which is harmless, but it goes back to wanting to remain anonymous and respecting the privacy of others, especially when they're batshit crazy.
4. People who live here have thought of every possible way to celebrate living here. There are festivals, parades, exhibitions, appreciations, gatherings, block parties, etc. For example, there is a subsect of Manhattanite pagan heathens who celebrate one particular day out of the year when the sun sets exactly according to the grid plan, i.e., you can see the sun setting in the western slot of every street in Manhattan. It's called Manhattanhenge. I took a picture that week from Doug and Tina's apartment in Brooklyn, and it's uncanny:
5. Cereal is the easiest meal to prepare. If you want to get fancy, add a banana. But adding fruit makes it A.) more expensive, and B.) twice as difficult to prepare.
6. I don't print out my photographs anymore. I wonder how many people do.
7. My new favorite hobby is watering the outdoor plants. What could possibly be better than fighting global warming with 8 robust and beautiful creatures who rely on me for sustenance? Plus, there's nothing on earth that beats spraying a hose on your bare feet on a scorching hot deck.
8. Although I've been on vacation 10 days in the last three weeks, I'm sick of work and would rather be in Rum Point, Grand Cayman: