5th Date

Inn at 56 Irving

I travel to New York City to attend IAM's Encounter conference.

foyer mirror

Where should I stay?

Any other time, I might choose a rectangular room, indoor-outdoor carpeted grey, with faux flowers on the desk (these rooms always have a desk, ask you to work while you are away).


But I decide that maybe I can find an Artist's Date in where I stay.

So instead of a hotel, I choose The Inn at 56 Irving Place.

When I walk in after dark and am greeted by a friendly host named Scott, when I smell the fresh flowers and see white orchids cascading in a peaceful bouquet, when I see the dark wood and high ceilings and antique furniture I know this was the right choice.


It is a place I can read poetry (and I do). It is a place where I can sleep deeper than I have in a while (and I do). It is a place that revives me. Leads me to write poetry...

56 Irving Place, Gramercy Park

for Sarah Haliwell and Neruda

I love your poems. I held them in a dark room, gardenia scented,
lit only by a candle bulb peering over an aged bed. The headboard
and the footboard were dark too, and carved. Sheets white and soft.
There were sirens outside, muted by plaster, old oak, a mirrored
wardrobe in the corner, tall and gently imposing. I took a picture
of me in slate blue nightwear that looked almost Japanese, loose
as the garb that strong men wear for taekwondo, but shirred like
a lily at the short sleeves. Before I took your words to bed,
before I dreamed.

crop blue

In the morning I sit by myself in the breakfast room. Vivaldi's Spring, or something like that, plays while I eat whole-wheat artisan bread, cheese, raspberries, blackberries. I use a whole pat of butter on my toast. Jasmine green tea warms my mouth, opens me with sweet fragrance.


And I feel oddly alone and whole at the same time. The way Sarah's poetry simultaneously retreats and surges...

how I long for a heartland
root-bound and simple
but then again oh

I do so love the deep

Inn at 56 Irving Place photos by L.L. Barkat. Excerpt from Sarah Haliwell's poem "watermark", used with permission.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Maureen said...

I'm reading lovingly Sarah's new chapbook. The atmosphere you evoke here is perfect for giving her words your light.

Blogger Bonnie Gray said...

I love taking a peek into your dates. I'm so into dating, too... " :) Always includes coffee as well. Alone & whole is a magical place to be.

Blogger sarah said...

Thank you, this has given me such heart! And what beautiful, evocative photographs. The last one in particular reminds me of a place I know on the broken edge of somewhere very old and haunted.

You have made my day :-)

Anonymous Marcus Goodyear said...

I really need to do the Artist's Way thing with some discipline...

And I'm not going to pretend that I'm not jealous about you getting to attend the IAM conference. I am jealous.

Blogger nannykim said...

Oh, thanks, I haven't visited in a while and this post made me feel like I had been on a mini vacation!!

Blogger S. Etole said...

what a lovely place to land for awhile ...

Blogger Claire said...

i long to have tea with you...

Blogger A Simple Country Girl said...

I can just smell & taste & hear & feel all of it. Your words and images tease my senses so...


Blogger deb said...

this post makes me every kind of peaceful.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home