Cocktail party fun facts.
Links around town.

Underneath our feet.

Up the street from me they're tearing up a major cross street, and replacing all sorts of pipes and fire hydrants and big cement things which Mr. CR thinks are drains of some kind, but really, how would we know? So we walk up regularly to take a look at progress, and all I can think every time is that I wish I could see a cross-section of everything under our street and house, to see how all that sewer and stuff works. I'm just glad someone understands it all. (Or at least I hope they do.)

Solis The whole thing has put me a bit in the mood for a book about the underground, so which better book to choose than New York Underground: The Anatomy of a City? It's not been quite what I expected it to be, but it is really interesting nonetheless. The author, Julia Solis, points out that many of the underground tunnels and secret spaces she details and has photographed for her book are no longer accessible, because access to anything underground after 9/11 has been seriously curtailed.

"The underground is being policed like never before. Hatches have been sealed, subaquatic tunnels are guarded, and cameras have been installed. Information is disappearing off Web sites, archives are closing to the public, and photographers of infrastructure are increasingly met with suspicion. I was lucky to have discovered nearly all of the spaces in this book before the terror attacks and to have found a few kindred spirits among those who work below the streets, since it is now a bad idea to venture into the city's tunnels." (pp. 6-7.)

That makes me kind of sad, but at least we have this book to see the utility tunnels, subway and rail tunels, underground passages, and building foundations. For a book about dark and underground spaces, it's weirdly illuminating and totally beautiful.

In other neighborhood news, this morning I stumbled out to the curb with my trash, three-quarters asleep and wearing my fifteen-year-old robe, and some guy driving by stopped and said, "Hey, I haven't seen you for a hundred years!" And I didn't know who he was, which I felt bad having to admit. I'm guessing he was someone from high school, but he only told me his first name, and that didn't really help. I just wish I'd had the presence of mind to say, "Dude, I have blocked out almost all of high school." I don't know why it bothered me so, or why I'm boring you with this story. This must be one of the side effects of freelance working at home; you are all now my co-workers who I must bore with my stories. Good working with you!