Saturday, September 01, 2007

Following Your Path

Today was a day of following my own path. Turns out my path is also the path of half the tourists in New York.

My trip to Governor's Island got canceled so I decided to go back to my original Labor Day Weekend plan of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. I took my camera and my Lucky Brand Film (pics forthcoming, must be developed and all) and I boarded a bus to the bridge. After I crossed the bridge I walked through City Hall Park and learned a bunch of things about my fair city that kept me in mind of Chili's civics lesson. (NYC freed all its slaves forty years [four decades] before the nation declared slavery abolished, it was seized by the British and used as their headquarters during the Revolutionary War, the British murdered over 2,000 prisoners of war on the site of the current City Hall in the first mass killing of prisoners of war on American soil.) Then, I was very close to St. Paul's Chapel and decided that, given the time of year, it would be good to finish up my roll of Lucky Film over there in the graveyard. Then I bought some m&ms and continued my vain search for silver nail polish (anyone? help? please?) and got on a train and went the hell home.

I'm bushed and I have a sinus headache. How are you?

Greenmarket purchases (cukes, scallops, chocolate milk, raspberries): $17
m&ms: $.75
Cat food that I really purchased yesterday but forgot to record: $4.41

Total: $22.16


  1. I'm on the hunt for silver nail polish for you - I'm almost 100% sure I can find some, maybe even today.

    Did you find out the reason NY freed its slaves so early? I'm always interested in what the REAL reasons for these kinds of policies are; I'm betting it was far more economic than humanitarian, but I suppose that doesn't really matter as long as the outcome is the same...

  2. I read those facts off a sort of sculpture inlaid into the plaza of the park so I didn't get a lot of detail. Just enough to get readers interested in learning more.

    Thanks for looking for the nail polish!

  3. I FOUND IT! It was a lot harder to find than I was expecting, too - we're not close enough to Hallowe'en, I guess, for the funky nail colors to come out; I bet there'll be plenty of silver in a few weeks.

    It's very sparkly and I'm betting it's not going to give you a nice, smooth finish - the sparkles seem a little on the big side; they're really sparkles, not frosting - but it's DEFINITELY silver. I'll put it in the mail on Tuesday.

    Who loves you? *I* do!!

  4. You love me, totally love me and I'm so grateful, also super lucky!

    Thank you!

  5. Anonymous1:34 PM

    I read your applauding NYS for abolishing slavery 4 decades before the Civil War, and, thought, "I don't remember NYS being particularly progressive in freeing their slaves." Since I'm not writing this at home, I've had to rely on Wikipedia for my facts surrounding this issue, so they may or may not be accurate, but they fit my memory of what I learned about the issue.

    The northern states began emancipating their slaves in 1780. Only NJ was later than NY (of the northern states) in passing an emancipation law.

    There were a number of prominent NYers who thought slavery should end, but owned slaves themselves, so they basically wanted it to end gradually enough that they wouldn't be too inconvenienced.

    So, in 1799 NYS passed a law that would free slaves as of July 4th of that year. However, if you were born to a slave mother before that date, you were kept as an indentured servant until you were age 28 (if male) or age 25 (if female). I bet things didn't change that much for these "indentured servants" from when they were slaves. (In fact, what I had read in the past about this issue never referred to these children and young adults as indentured servants - they were always referred to as slaves until they passed the magic age.) Plus, if it was your kid, you'd probably end up staying basically a slave until your kid grew up - would you really want to leave your kid in someone else's care, without being present for years? And what if you had more kids? One born before 1799, and then free ones born after? UGH! Anyway, the last person passed out of their indentured servitude in 1827.