Sunday, May 31, 2009

Up On the Roof

It's been a weekend of rooftops and skylines. And pie baking. It all started when my coworker--the same one who commissioned the pineapple upside down cake--asked me to come help her clean out her closets. She has been in back pain and cannot lift things, and she was offering to pay, so I said sure, I'll come over Saturday. "Bring a pie!" she added. Specifically, she wanted two very small berry pies for her husband, who is very picky (I later learned that he forbids her to wear red, because it gives him a headache.) Since I had also signed up to bring pies to the church block party/bake sale on Saturday morning, my Friday night became an evening of pie baking, made all the more enjoyable when it segued into a So-You're-Not-Moving-Away-After-All!! party for my friend Josh. We took the last pie over to his & Peter's house where we baked it and stayed up all night eating it and watching TV. I don't know what got into me, but it was sure fun.

However, the morning came quickly and it was time to deliver my pies and then go clean closets. I was expecting this woman's house to be incredible, because she doesn't hide the fact that she's rich, and it certainly was nice. But what blew me away was the view. 38th Street, 40th floor, looking south from a spacious bay window, the entire tip of Manhattan at my fingertips... I just wanted to stare at it all day. Should have taken pictures, but I didn't even remember that I had my camera. I told her that if I lived there, I'd never leave. On the other side of the place, she even had a little balcony. What is it about being so far up in the sky, looking down at the cityscape that thrills me? I guess it's not just me--that's why all the best companies have their offices in skyscrapers, right? It gives you a sense of power to be looking down at everything from so far up that it's all just tiny and toy-like below.

I scored a bag of incredible clothes, a lamp, and a weird ceramic jug, and when closet cleaning was done I went home intending to take a nap, but never quite doing it. Even when I'm just laying around doing nothing, I always have a hard time napping--I feel like I'm wasting my day away. Later I went downtown with S and E to visit a rooftop on 42nd Street. This girl that S knows was house-sitting and had permission to invite people over and enjoy the place. And what a place! This place had a jacuzzi for a centerpiece, a screen that lowered from the ceiling for movie watching, heated tile floors, a bed built into a nook in the wall, two salt-water aquariums with sick (sick=incredible, but one fish actually was kind of unwell) fish, what else? A circular staircase that led to the rooftop terrace, filled with the most comfortable couches surrounded by a garden of fruit trees and exotic flowers. Maybe I was napping after all, and dreaming! We ordered pizza and ate it up there, playing UNO, looking at the stars, and talking about how S and her friend got Rockette costumes, wore them to Times Square, and raked in the dough posing for tourists. What a great idea!

And another late night... So today I've just been laying around tired again. Baking another pie for a little dessert party later, and listening to Benny Goodman. I find that pie-baking is best done with a transistor radio tuned to big band or vintage blues music. This afternoon after church, E and I went up on our own roof, with its view of the projects and empty lots. We sunned for a while, closing our eyes and imagining we were on a glamorous downtown skyscraper roof. Then the wind picked up, the storm clouds blew in, and we rolled up and went in.

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