13 Weekends

A blog about memory & summer by Matt Raw

Memorial Day, NYC

A holiday weekend provides another opportunity to see the city anew. But maybe a two-day weekend would have been better.

If you know where to go, there is an elevator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that will take you to the roof, where you can see the city as you’ve never seen it before. A few steps off the elevator, you emerge into a rooftop sculpture garden, with a breathtaking, verdant view of Central Park and Midtown Manhattan. You’ll probably say, “Oh, wow,” as I did. There’s art, too, but don’t tell Anthony Caro that no one was paying any attention to his stuff.

The interesting thing is that this space is completely invisible from the ground. Looking up from Central Park, you have no idea this rooftop terrace exists. Not even the telltale tips of small, potted trees to clue you in. Likewise, you can’t see the ground from the roof. The view is lush; from just above the treetops, the park’s contrast to the city could not be clearer. It’s a one-of-a-kind view, hidden in plain sight.

Seeing the city with new eyes can be difficult, especially when one’s vision is clouded by a list of annoyances that only grows with time. But Saturday we did, and as Maggie and Charlotte and I stood looking south, the view of Midtown positively unoffensive, it hit me for just a fleeting, perfect moment that this was something to hold on to.

The rest of the long weekend was equal parts productive and frustrating.

Maggie and I both got a lot of work done that we wanted to get done. I’m in that fun place with a lot of my side projects where just a little bit of work results in what looks like a major achievement to an outside observer. So, I can say for a fact that in a single Sunday afternoon I moved my IPA to the secondary fermenter, printed 100 copies of two new Code Cards, photographed and put them on Etsy, and, while Maggie worked, took Charlotte to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see the roses and the koi (who live in the water, if you were wondering—see Little Fur Family for more information). But all of that progress on beer and cards was weeks in the making.

On Monday, well… I should make one thing clear: I’m awful at 3-day weekends. Monday was trying. It was the first truly hot day of the year and I wasn’t getting much done in the heat. This led quickly to feeling like I was wasting a free day. Which led to meta angst and, ultimately, a vicious loop that left no one happy at the end of the day.

To escape the heat we all took a walk around the block after dinner. Maggie got an ice cream sandwich at the corner store—Mustafa gave Charlotte a little bubble blower because she’s cute—and as we ate our ice cream we saw that a group of Memorial Day revelers on Park Place had filled up a wading pool on the sidewalk and had been lounging in it all day. I should have jumped in when they offered.