Monthly Archives: August 2008

Columbia & Jazz

I’ll have to write more later about the nearly three weeks I have spent as ICU senior (or “junior fellow”) in the surgical and cardiothoracic ICUs.  The days are packed with intensity, from unstable patients, to hectic call nights, to diagnostic dilemmas, to withdrawals of care.  Add to that the month of August (only one month into the medical new year) with its fresh interns, and my job becomes that much more difficult.

After nearly no sleep on Tuesday night but finishing my shift with a relatively stable 21-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit, I crashed at home well into the afternoon.  I ventured out only late in the afternoon to get some tile sealant and sticky mouse traps.

I will spare you, gentle reader, the details of catching yet another mouse, and there’s really no need to mention how a friend told me about the humane execution method of drowning the struggling rodent in a bucket of soapy water.  No, the average Mulberry Street vistor will have no interest in knowing that the soap does wonders to the surfactant lining those rapid little lungs, but she, in her sensibilities, and if pressed, would admit this does seem more humane than throwing the critter away live, whiskers tucked back, the thin rope of a tail flicking yesterday’s can of tomato sauce.

Instead, I thought, how much better to share the pictures I took as I sauntered around Columbia’s magnificent urban campus in the slant of the late afternoon sunshine, and later, as I lounged with other Harlem residents at the foot of Grant’s Tomb as we listened to live jazz in the perfect summer evening.

The lower plaza, with Butler Library to the right.

Alma Mater“, her back toward the grand Low Library.  The university’s architect worried initially about what kind of statue would be placed in front of his masterpiece.  Upon the unveiling, however, he was pleased.

A corner of the upper plaza, with 116th Street separating the upper from the lower plazas.  One of the most incredible urban spaces in New York City.  I like the patches of green beside the fountain.

The grass had an otherwordly green hue in the sunlight.

The picture also seems effective in black and white.

Approaching Grant’s Tomb.  The week before, I was lured over from nearby Sakura Park by a jazzy version of “Over the Rainbow.”  I am a sucker for “Over the Rainbow.”  Versions that grace my iPod include those by Katharine McPhee, Ray Charles, Iz, and Eva Cassiday.  The instrumental version was really cool.

My Harlem neighbors enjoying the jazz.



Filed under My neighborhood, Photos