Small Animals

13625378_10208590462653305_9197893018731847063_nI thought Sardi’s was a tourist trap.  And I thought I could not afford it.  My way of going to see Broadway shows has always been to eat a slice of pizza beforehand, because after paying for a ticket that is all that seems prudent.

I happened to be meeting a friend in Times Square, though, it is halfway between us, and I thought of Sardi’s.  It was lunch, maybe we could swing it for lunch.

The waiters had jackets, the walls were the caricatures, and were the red I think a restaurant should be.  All restaurants should have red walls.  Except Greek restaurants, which should have white ones, and Mexican restaurants, which should be yellow.  The ceiling had acoustic tile, which reminded me this was a real place.

Amazing places are also real, hard to absorb, but true.  The pyramids in Egypt are, I guess, a real place.  I know the Louvre is real.  It was hard for me to believe it, though, when I was there.

We ate and had a good chat.  It was a late lunch, and there were only three tables of us left, the place had cleared out from the Wednesday matinee crowd.

“He’s in the bar area,” our waitress said to the couple next to us.

“Excuse me, who were you asking about?” my friend asked, thank God, because I was trying to figure out how to get them talking.

“Her brother, Arthur Miller,” the man said.

Then I had a heart attack and couldn’t think what to say.

For six years, I taught The Crucible.  “Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer,” I thought, rather than “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another!” which would have been cool.

Every time I taught it, with my five sections of juniors– so that is thirty times I read it– I would stop there and say, “Why does he say that?  Does beer not freeze?”

The kids were in chemistry that same year, and usually there would be one kid who would explain, “Alcohol doesn’t freeze.”  It was a test to see who knew about chemistry, or about liquor, as a junior in high school.  “You can put a bottle of vodka in the freezer,” someone might say, and I would think, Well, that tells me something about you.

I did not know about the freezing point of alcohol when I was a junior in high school because I was a nerd.

I wanted desperately for Arthur Miller’s sister to begin telling us her life story and I would have sat rapt the entire time, but I couldn’t think what to ask because I was stuck on, Arthur Miller was a real person, with a sister, and Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer.

For the record, I don’t think anyone would say my justice would freeze beer.  I would say, the quality of mercy is not strained, it drops as the gentle rain from heaven, another dramatic quote that sticks with me, this one from driving past the words engraved in the sign at the public hospital next to where I worked.

Arthur Miller was a real person, not a saint, wait, saints were real people, too.  Once.

Arthur Miller’s sister is not her name.  What was her favorite play?  I managed to ask.  She is an actress.  “Between jobs,” I said; she chuckled.

Death of A Salesman,” she said.

Well, I would have to read that again.  It had been a long time.

My imagined Broadway in New York is the ’40s and ’50s, those shows, their clothes, good wool and high heels and clothes that gave women shape instead of them being expected to provide it, and small drinks, little wine glasses, little martini glasses, automats.  Everything drier and sleeker and smaller.

This isn’t to say I don’t love being here now, a woman who isn’t married and doesn’t have to be, with current Times Square, much more money, much more diverse, less provincial, less formal.  I love the people dressed in cartoon character costumes, now confined to blue-painted patches of the sidewalk so they don’t get in the way of we civilians.  I love the embarrassing capitalist mess of it.

Joan Copeland is her name, and she was one of the first members of the Actors Studio, along with, you know, Elia Kazan.

I’m glad I didn’t know this while chatting with her, I would have lost my shit even more.

I was conscious of not asking her about her brother, being a sibling to someone so famous must be kind of a drag.  “What was your favorite part?” we asked.

She talked about playing parts in soap operas.  Which reminded me of my favorite old man I ever met in New York, a retired violinist for the Met.  I met him at MoMA, and he told me about hanging out with Rothko (who was also a real person, I know), and when I asked him what his favorite opera was, he said, “The shortest ones.”  Work is work.  And I wasn’t sure how clear her thoughts or memories were, she’s of an age to have so many thoughts and memories they could get crowded and jumbled.

“Has Sardi’s changed?” we asked.

“Oh, no,” she said.  “I used to have that corner table every night,” she said.  “They saved it for me.”

“Wow,” I said.  I could also say that.

“When my brother was blacklisted, you couldn’t go eat in the restaurants if you were thought to be a liberal, you know, they said communist then, but a liberal, really.  Vincent not only let Arthur eat here, he would be out in the street and yell down to him, ‘Welcome, come on in.'”

I asked if I could take my picture with her, would she mind, she said no.  I sat next to her and she asked if she needed lipstick.  I said yes.  She pulled out her beautiful black satin clutch, fooled around in it for the lipstick and applied it to her bottom lip perfectly, looking into her palm as if it had a mirror in it but it did not.  Her fingernails were red, her blouse was just the right shape for her figure, her earrings dangled just below the length of her hair.

Someone mentioned men going bald, and she started singing, “A bald man…. don’t kiss a man/whose name you don’t know….  What song is that?”

We didn’t know.

“I usually think it’s a good idea,” I said, “but not always.”

She was in thirteen shows on Broadway, lots of soaps, and had bit parts on television and in movies.  She was an understudy for Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn.  She knew Marilyn Monroe from the Actors Studio, but did not know Monroe was dating her brother.  (“I’m not much up on gossip,” she reportedly said.)

I walked down subway stairs in love with her, “I am in love with her,” I thought, which made me start singing, in my head, “I’m in love/ I’m in love/I’m in love/I’m in love….”  That is maybe my favorite show.

I would rather, actually, meet Joan Copeland than Arthur Miller.  Most of us artists are small animals, the squirrels and sparrows of the art world, not lions like Arthur Miller.  We’re all related, though, all in that family, and it was lovely to meet a grandmother.

What It Cost

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My favorite thing at the Brooklyn Historical Society was the tile floor.  The same people who put in the floor worked on the Capitol.  The building also has huge terra cotta busts on the outside, Columbus, Shakespeare, Ben Franklin.  The Brooklyn Historical Society is, itself, a National Historic Landmark.  For whatever sense that makes.

The Brooklyn Historical Society is not like the grateful and hopeful ticket sellers, and like some Dickensian character, I believe, after research, Mr. Wilkins “something will turn up” Micawber, at the Teddy Roosevelt house or the Merchant House.  The Brooklyn Historical Society politely hardly noticed me.  Ten dollars.

They are passing the time.

The display on abolitionism in Kings County (the fictionalized name of the county I grew up in, in the only novel I’ve ever read to mention the county I grew up in, and the actual name of Brooklyn’s county) happily included some happy stories of slaves or free blacks who got names, were brave, made money, founded schools, escaped, built things.

The bank on the corner where I get the subway was the Kings County Bank when they built it.  Kings County Bank is carved into the top of the building.  Above the doorway, another carving: A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  I see this from time to time when I am going home, and first I think that I have never saved any money, and fault myself, and then I think, well, that’s true of other journeys, too, and I’ve been on many journeys.

There were two black communities in Brooklyn, one in Williamsburg, one near the Brooklyn Bridge.  The oldest black school and black church were originally near there.  Frederick Douglass and and Harriet Tubman spoke at the first black church.  Yes, that Frederick Douglass and that Harriet Tubman.  The church still exists, as an institution.  It is now located in Bed-Stuy.

The worst part of the history they covered (all plenty bad) was the draft riots.  White New Yorkers attacking their black neighbors like they just realized they were Hutus living with Tutsis, powerless Hutus, maybe that’s a wrong or offensive simile.  Stabbing people and throwing their bodies in the river, all I can think of is the Rwandan genocide, the only thing I remember reading about that was as sudden and so vicious and unbelievable.  The good old days, when race riots were started by white people.

Poor white people burned down an orphanage.  The kids were okay.  If that makes you feel any better.

The white people are mad because black people can’t be drafted, and poor white people will have to go to war to fight to save the union they don’t get much from.  Black people can’t be drafted because they are not people.

Perhaps our worst race riot.  It depends on how you measure.

They had a small display about the development of sewers in New York, revealing to me that for a time, Coney Island was too smelly with sewage to let anyone stroll or lounge or bathe there.  The New York City sewers, like many, combine storm water and sewage, and this has its plusses and minuses.  I have seen this in Kansas City, where backed up sewers from too much storm water mean rubber gloves and filling bins of bleach water for the Christmas tree ornaments.

I remember visiting New York City as a child and being told, “This is some of the best tap water in the country,” and thinking that someone had told me that of Kansas City’s water, too.  Was the water in every town so talked-up?  I knew only that the water from my great-grandparents’ well tasted like it had turned.

They have a library at the Historical Society, the prettiest I have ever seen, elegant but still cozy.  It was closed for the month of August, to horde its prettiness.  Locked glass doors.

They have photos taken on a tour of Brooklyn led by Truman Capote.  Brooklyn in 1958, looking much more like current Brooklyn than many other cities resemble themselves.  Black and white kids in parochial school uniforms goofing off together on the street.  Storefronts with handprinted signs, just the same.  Restaurants looking remarkably like restaurants now except the people are more dressed up.  This photographer took the shots to illustrate “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”  Have I dressed up as Holly Golightly for Halloween before?  Of course I have.  Not letting being blonde stop me from anything brunette people can do.

I had the feeling that so much money, for so long, had gone into the institution, that it existed largely to give Brooklynites something honorable to give their money, and to maintain its own elegance, which is not the worst thing, dour Americans!

There were current photos, too, taken of people who had gotten food from food banks.  I was, coincidentally, starving.  I was starving because it is my usual practice to eat a minor breakfast, lie about, get inspired to go out, and then discover it is 4 pm, and my mouth is watering and my hands are shaking.  It was embarrassing to see the photos that way, particularly the one of a table someone had set with the food she had gotten, and I thought, I wouldn’t eat any of that food, God, I am a brat.

A child asleep on a couch because he’s walked four miles, round trip, to two different food banks in Queens, to get the groceries for the week.  The hungry and the closed glass doors to the prettiest library, there on the second and third floors, with the beautiful tile floors.

As a counterweight to the busts of the magnificent dead white men on the outside, there is a bust of a girl whose freedom was purchased with donations from Henry Ward Beecher’s congregation.  He would turn his sermon into an auction.  Sally Maria Diggs cost $900.

The exhibit of photos on hunger, by Joey O’laughlin, suggests you contribute to (among other worthy charities) the Food Bank for New York City.

Merchant’s House

I turned the hottest corner in the world and almost walked past the 1832 home of only one family, ever: the Tredwells.

I would like to put in, here, that it is the oldest something or other, but that isn’t really the point of the place.  It is very old for a surviving building in Manhattan, and it is preserved with a lot of its original stuff inside it.

There is a buzzer to press, which is your first indication that no one goes there, especially on the hottest days of the year, but probably other days, too.  Someone buzzed me in, and I made that transformation you make from being anyone on the street to someone inside somewhere, accepted and on a mission.  Also it was slightly cooler inside.  Slightly.

I followed the hallway to its other end, and a small room was repurposed to sell tickets and also to house a collection of breakable this and that dishes and figures and a book about opera.  These items were for sale to benefit the house, and it was easy to imagine little old ladies carting them in in cardboard boxes, wrapped in newspaper.

I paid the lady, and the nice man and I agreed that Friday had been the worst of the heat, Saturday was better, and Sunday, that day, was the best, meaning Friday and Saturday had been hellfire punishing, and today was just extremely hot.  The people of New York’s smaller museums are a kind and grateful people.

“So, how did you hear about this place?” the tour guide asked.  She seemed genuinely surprised– maybe even suspicious– that we had all decided to tour a lightly air-conditioned historic house on a Sunday in August.

Two of us explained we had been to the big museums of New York and were working on the small ones.  A couple from Brazil said they had heard about the house on a Brazilian TV show.

“Well, right when everyone is paying attention to Brazil!”

I hoped they were airbnbing the shit out of their place back there.

I took the tour: basement family room and kitchen, main floor parlor and dining room with gorgeous gas chandeliers, upstairs adult bedrooms, and past the floor for childrens’ bedrooms, now the museum offices.

“They wanted to memorialize the merchant class,” our tour guide said, and I couldn’t figure why anyone wanted people to remember their class.  Their class?  Merchants?  New money that either got rich or fell off?

The top floor, the servants’ quarters, was much like the servants’ quarters of my mansion, both in the house, and my own home in the carriage house.  The cut-out windows, slanted ceiling.  It’s my favorite place I’ve lived.

They play up their ghost stories, one of our tour group asked about them.  “I haven’t seen one,” the tour guide said.  “But people see them, especially Hugo.  All the other children got their settlement in the father’s will, but Hugo got his in small payments over many years.”


I also liked that the family were loyalists, like my ancestors.  The Tredwells were loyalists and people so attached to the past, so loving of the past, that when other families left the neighborhood, they said no, and stayed and stayed.  Seabury Tredwell, the patriarch, continued to wear his hair in a ponytail long after this was not cool (like an early ’90s ponytail, shiver), and when his commissioned portrait was delivered to his widow, she said, “No, he must have his ponytail,” and the artist painted it in.  You think you’re doing someone a favor.

They kept a lot of their junk, and the tour guide praises this, as historians will.  My mother is currently in the process of cleaning out her basement, and let me tell you, no one praises you for keeping your junk while you are alive.  There is this dark area that is just “old” between “new” and “how interesting.”  The Tredwells left their sewing supplies, so we could see them, their thread, their cases for pins.  No one wants to see mine, which is in a Lancome bag given as a free gift from the Prairie Village Jones Store, okay, Macy’s.  I also like to live in the past.

There was one last Christmas we got presents put in Jones Store shirt boxes.  There must have been a last Christmas people got presents in Harzfeld’s boxes.  My step grandmothers’ hats are still in Herzfeld’s boxes.

“Why did the grown daughter not move out with her husband?” I asked.

“What happened to the merchant class?” I asked.

The tour guide, although kind and well-informed, could not definitively answer either question.

She did, as we two were the last to descend the stairs, say, quietly, “I don’t tell everyone this, but one of the daughters fell down these steps and broke her neck.”

“Whoa,” I said.  And then, “Thank you so much,” and I picked up my bag, and my coffee, from the small back office.

We were new money, my family.  We did not save everything, but we saved some things, and some went to the curb when the basement flooded.  The Tredwell basement, it must never have flooded.  Who would remake our family room, circa 1985, when I had a coat rack with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, and footprint outlines and measurements of inches and feet on the back so you could see how you grew?

Merchant’s House Museum




IMG_2085 (1)The monument is like a ship, a big black marble ship you walk in, can look up to see the buildings that scar the sky, and forward, to see the semicircle of marble where there are symbols.  Symbols of various good ideas, from various African cultures, and a crescent moon, and a cross.  I was alone.  I was alone, I couldn’t see any other people.

It was on the my list of things to see, to distract myself from the fact that I have no job and am about to run out of money: the African Burial Ground.

Being alone in Manhattan is a strange and wondrous thing.  I only remember it happening a few places: once or twice in the teacher’s lounge at my old school, and once in a deeply tucked-in dead-end room at the Met.

Cinema has taught us to be alone in Manhattan is also to know the apocalypse.  How it might be to be really alone, not feel alone or seem alone.

I was alone, though, wholly alone, well, with whatever is left of 15,000 people who had been buried there because they were black.

Most of the parks you could name in Manhattan used to be cemeteries for the poor: Bryant Park, Union Square, Washington Square.  In Washington Square park, perhaps 20,000 dead.  What should it be?  How long could you nod at the dead?

When you are from a newer place, a place relatively undisputed, as places go, it seemed to me history might be thoughtful, progressive.  Were there Indians in Kansas?  Oh, there were.  A long time ago.

At first New Amsterdamians and New Yorkers of all backgrounds were buried together.  Then, in 1697, the church where I worshipped this morning (well, its ancestor self) banned black people from being buried within the city limits of New York.

During the Revolutionary War, the British held New York City, making it a magnet for escaped slaves.  Before the revolution, almost all blacks in New York were slaves.  Afterward, only 2/3 of them were.

The freeing came in fits and starts.  Ultimately it was July 4, 1827, when all slaves in New York were freed, no matter when they had been born, or to whom they were enslaved.

When I visited Dr. King’s home in Atlanta, I was disturbed to see how few white people were there.  I wondered how many white people visited this monument.  We were all saved from slavery, we all live under its shadow still, and we all require encouragement to mourn and honor our past and hope for better.

Anyway I was alone at the African burial ground site, with no one to dislike for not being there.  It was a hot that could be held by not moving too fast.

I went uptown.  I got a cookie and sat in the one-floor-below-ground garden of the former Whitney.  It isn’t really a garden.  It’s an outside place to sit, where the heavy jutting outness of the building shaded us so fully that when the traffic and wind sound became rain sound, we could only see it against the face of the brick building across the street.  “I think we’re all right here,” I said to the woman who had sat next to me.  She had an Italian accent and was also eating a cookie.  She nodded.  We watched the rain far below our brown granite awning.

It is a building I at first hated, the first time I visited, when I was eighteen.  I came to find it warm, the way Frank Lloyd Wright wanted the Guggenheim to be, and human-sized, and digestible.  Its cubby windows, its mini village snuggled in the stairwell.

The building has recently gone from being as cool as the Whitney is to as uncool as the Met is.  The guards are now in their dress blues, the whole system is on the Met system.  The building is now part of the Met, New York’s aircraft-carrier sized cathedral, rather than the Whitney, who moved downtown to wave in the whole overexpensiveness of contemporary art with a restaurant for people who want to be seen there, not a cafeteria with kids’ meals or an atrium full of footworn tourists wearily looking at their phones waiting for someone they know to marathon it through another half mile of paintings  and mummy cases.

Unfinished was the show at this new-christened place, Met Breuer.

DP363719Jasper Johns’ paint-by-number target: he created it, you complete it.  Never completed.  Never to be.  Until that apocalypse day you are alone in Manhattan and you find the glass smashed and you take it out.  And paint, careful or sloppy, all yours.

DT356183.jpgAndy Warhol’s paint-by-number, a violin half done politely and half done comically.

Macchi_2003.91-5.jpgPerhaps my favorite: a film that has an introductory card (A Film by) and then a countdown, 5…4…3…2…1…1/2…1/4….  I stopped and chuckled, and then I waited and watched other people watch it and get puzzled or disappointed but no one laughed so I didn’t like anyone else in the gallery.  It was funny, it was funny, nothing happens, you see, nothing ever happens, things just get smaller and recycle themselves.

Old paintings, funny to see in that space as you are not used to seeing the Madonna and Christ treated properly in that space, only mocked and rehashed there, in the moderns, the contemporaries, but with the Met’s paintings there, you can see how some painters began loving or at least respectful paintings of them and stopped, for one reason or another, who knows.  Portraits of the rich without faces, perhaps they were not paid for, faces.

DT2780.jpgA Whistler with the suggestions that show what it is like to be somewhere without being there at all, how people move away from you without moving.

IA-Antwerp RH_S_181_Foto002.jpgA painting of horses I drew into, and moved like horse, horses in a battle that shows how real and unreal battle is, how real and unreal enemies, friends, because it is unfinished, not on purpose, by happenstance.

Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s show, “Unfinished”:

  • Jasper Johns, “Target”
  • Andy Warhol, “Do It Yourself (Violin)”
  • Jorge Macchi, “La Fleche de Zenon”
  • Anton Raphael Mengs, “Portrait of Mariana de Silva y Sarmiento, duquesa de Huescar”
  • Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi), “Holy Family with St. John the Baptist”
  • James McNeil Whistler, “Cremorne Gardens, No. 2”
  • Peter Paul Rubens, “Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry”


Santa Ana

DP819733My niece went halfway up the ladder for the high dive and then back down.  “You can’t go back down, once you go up, you have to dive,” a kid said to her.  Stupid kid.

“I think you want to do it,” I told her.  She climbed back up.

Last year beat me so hard I am still numb the first inch of my skin.  I’m just realizing we have a woman nominated for the presidency.  Obama meant something to me for my students, for who my neighbors were and who they could be.  Hillary Clinton means something for me.  People call her a bitch, and they call me a bitch, and some of them mean it as a compliment.  So I try to take it that way.

I saw candy cigarettes on the counter at the ice cream shop on the boardwalk in Newport Beach.  I threw them at our pile of treats.  I was being Joan Didion, I read Didion on the beach.  She explained the Santa Ana winds.  She wrote:

There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sand storms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to flash point.


At Disneyland, we rode in the baby fire truck that Walt Disney drove around, in his day.  And old man drove us down and up Main Street, USA, miniature town of something, nowhere, windows with inside-joke windows honoring artists and friends of theirs who built the place.  I didn’t get why Disney was drawn to a fire truck, why little boys want fire trucks, is it just that they like vehicles that can do something?  A hose and ladders on the sides of the truck.

I was in a bar with one of my favorite Republicans as Hillary gave her acceptance speech.  The TV was on and muted.  I heard the speech hours later.  I have been so carefully avoiding news, since That One Guy has been splashing through our news every goddamn day.  It surprised me to watch something about current events that felt good.

The night Bill Clinton was elected the first time, I had just gotten contacts for my birthday.  I was sixteen.  If he had been losing, I would have gone up to bed, depressed.  I fell asleep on the couch and a contact came out of my eye somehow.  They were the only pair I ever had with green tinting, they made my eyes greener.  I forgave Bill.

In 1997, Kenneth Starr was wasting the time of the entire United States, and I was temping.  The worst part was that instead of my engaging NPR shows marking the work hours, I was forced to listen to Starr’s hearings.  Or bring CDs and a discman to work.  Or The Portable Nietzsche, what I was reading then, what that year of temping looks like to me, the bronzed image of Nietzsche on the front.

It was hard to see Hillary then knowing she could not be president.  Women couldn’t do that then.  They couldn’t.  It was absurd and accepted.  I was required to wear pantyhose if I wore a skirt.  So I wore long skirts.  I felt girls could not be wild, or I didn’t know how they could.  It took me a long time to figure it out.

A hundredish days until this election is settled, and everything can settle.  In a hundred days I better have a job, I hope to vote in New York state, at least one more time, right now and as summer dies, there will be dry, dry wind.

Joan Didion from “Los Angeles Notebook.”

Image: “Wind,” Harold Anchel, Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Completed in 1895, the 23rd Regiment Armory is a Romanesque red brick armory.  Armories were originally important places to train and store weapons for America’s locally-based military units before the Civil War.  During industrialization, National Guard troops were used to quash labor protests.  After World War I, bronze tributes to soldiers from that conflict were added.  The building was rented by William Randolph Hearst to house a studio he owned in the 1920s.  Today, like several other century-old armories in New York City, it is used as a homeless shelter.  I went past it every day I took the express, instead of the local, bus to work.


They leave

without: shields,

shields, or anything sharp,

bronzes above,

bronzes of

soldiers who won,

(where do we keep the guns?  the pieces?)

Soldiers who won above

men losing,

Where we kept our guns,

where soldiers kept safe,

where men rallied to crush

strikes and stop rowdy wanting,

where we keep the empty.

They rifle.

Turrets at altitude

above attack,

the men who are

never above

the ground floor

these men,

at eye level,

or lower, foot traffic level,

cardboard sign,

subway piss,

but with souls,

across the street the gas

station where the money

and the delivery drivers

gas up.

(Where do we keep

the guns?

our heat?

our pieces?)

My favorite site for more details on armories.

Image: New York Public Library.

The West Coast

DP160258-1The man with the moles on his back, speckled.

The man with the circular scar on his cheek, a piece was taken out, or replaced, he rang up my Mickey Mouse shaped pencil.

The man we asked a question and he answered in gestures and the English people who cannot hear use, and we acted as if we understood.

The man who now drives the red truck up and down Main Street, he drives the truck last driven by Walt Disney, who was, actually, a person who could drive and ride in cars for 65 years.

The flies that fly curves around the trash can by the bathroom at the beach, the flies that are brave enough to enter the bathroom.

Where are the uber drivers from?  Iran, Las Vegas, Ethiopia, Turks and Caicos.

Where are the waves from?

The men in paper hats at the diner who brought me a plastic cup of wine, not good California wine, just wine because you can have it everywhere in California, as I did in Rome, have wine absolutely every time, even with french fries and paper plates.

The diner was at the end of a pier, and men had long lines let into the sea, lines with many hooks, they pulled the lines in with one or with three shining silver fish, shining with moonlight and pier light, as the sun had already gone down and away.

Image: “Self Portrait in Water” by Robert Stivers, Metropolitan Museum of Art.