Let's look around.
Insomnia is still my most reliable sleeping companion these days, but I try to make the best of it by taking morning walks. For so many years I used to sleep late because of my hard partying that I never saw the dawn except when I didn't go to bed at all. I think for the rest of my life I'm going to be a morning person in order to make up for all the mornings I missed because of my addictions. Here's how morning began for me today in downtown Northampton.
It was only freezing outside, which is warm considering the weather we've had lately.
Years ago I sometimes saw dawn because I spent all night in the Calvin Theater. They used to have psychedelic movie marathons that began at midnight and usually peaked with a 3 a.m. showing of the three and half hour Grateful Dead Movie. We would drop acid and trip to the films in an environment that was completely unsupervised and where you could smoke marijuana freely. Afterwards we would stagger outside, blinking in the daylight, and go next door to Jakes for a breakfast so greasy and delicious it was almost erotic.
Eventually a rich guy bought the Calvin and fixed it up and made it respectable. Thank God Jakes is still a delightful dive.
Across the street is the historic Hotel Northampton, a portion of which dates back to 1786. My ex-boyfriend took me there in August for my birthday.
You would think because of my ex that I would now harbor negative feelings toward that hotel. But we humans are funny - it is our nature to forget when we get hurt in a relationship and to remember simply that we were in love.
On the back of this sign are two stickers. On the left an inscrutable one of a robot that seems to signify nothing and the other a sticker for a "Crafts Fair for Freaks and Geeks" held last week. Hey, how did I miss that? (click to enlarge)
Here in this doorway permanently stained into the cement is an old sign for a bank that no longer exists. Two banks actually, the First National and the even older Holyoke Bank.
See, banks were merging even back then!
A few doors down, the Michelson Gallery is running a sale on original drawings by Springfield's homeboy Dr. Seuss. Notice that they have misspelled the good doctor's name.
This oriental coffee shop called The Teapot has white Christmas trees and some mean looking samurai guards protecting them.
This being Northampton, window shoppers sometimes get an eyeful.
Of course at this hour on a Sunday there are no window shoppers, as all is shuttered and closed. Yet the spirit of Saint Garcia watches over all.
The other day at UMass there was this student walking around with post-it notes all over him. He told me it was part of an art project that intended to illustrate how we wear our pasts on ourselves through the people and places we know.
With all the brain circuits I've blown, I could use a shirt like that to post notes on to get me through my day!
Finally, with all the burning issues and controversies these days, isn't it interesting that our large neighbor to the north, Canada, never seems to have much turmoil. Well at last there appears to be something upsetting the tranquil Canadians, at least the gay ones.