Date: April 15, 2016
Days Spent on Project: 1150
Location: NW Portland, OR
Person I would have sent it to: TBD
Music I listened to while sewing: Back to Alexander McQueen, courtesy of Youtube… Currently, I am in the middle of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius.”
People have said that collection showed a designer simultaneously at his most gothic romantic. I get that.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: How do you wrap up a project like this?
Well, some explanation, maybe?
I have kept the blog entries formulaic on purpose. Each entry would only list the Date, the Crane’s Number, the Days I’ve Spent the Project (which I think is accurate?), the Location I was in (when writing the blog entry, which almost always corresponded directly to where it was sewn), the Person I’d Be Sending It To (which I “paused” doing after Crane 722), the Music I Was Listening To (usually when sewing, but more and more it became about what I was listening to as I wrote the blog entry. Most of the time, they corresponded.), and finally the Thoughts and Feelings I was having as I sat down to sew each Crane (and then write each blog entry).
I was going to keep it at that: purposefully formulaic. Each day’s routine of sewing the crane was to be a step-by-step process. Each question was something I wanted to answer for my Future Self, if I ever needed to revisit the process or reflect on the issues or share the scope of the project with anyone.
Side note… I do hope to share this project. I think it would be a shame to have worked on this portion of the project (the assembling and this blog) for as long as I have (just over 39 months!) and then let the Cranes continue to lay in piles around my apartment, collecting dust.
That was never the purpose.
I think it’s fairly self-explanatory why I would list the date, the Crane number, how many days I was working on it.
Why I began documenting where I was: well, that’s perhaps not self-explanatory.
In mid-November 2012, I left my excruciatingly small “one bedroom” apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (on Second Ave, between 80th and 81st… which no longer exists; I’m told they started construction last year on a luxury apartment building there…) and moved to Washington Heights (at 180th and Cabrini). It was quite the shift!
The new apartment and the apartment building were- hands down- much better than the situation I had been living in with my dog. (Looking back, I can’t fathom how I put up with so little space or the building’s quirky decrepitude or the neighbors or the downstairs pizza joint/bar/club for as long as I did… Portland has- truthfully- spoiled me.) The new neighborhood was… a shift.
I would grow to like it there. I would. It would become comfortable. It would be my place in Manhattan that was separate from Manhattan. My dog and I loved going to Fort Tryon every day. We enjoyed the people we met at the dog park. Some of my neighbors were actual neighbors and would be good acquaintances and friends. It was right near an Express A train stop, so I could be in Times Square in 25 minutes, if the MTA cooperated. It was actually a great place to be. If I had been able to afford to stay in New York City, I would have stayed at that apartment as long as I could… even though the building’s management company was less than helpful.
When I started this blog, I began writing to commit to that apartment and that neighborhood. When I wrote “Location: Washington Heights,” I was telling myself this is your place now. You live here now. This is home now.
But then the project continued along. I was freelance then, and sometimes I wasn’t in Washington Heights.
Throughout the course of this project, I have worked on parts of it in:
Washington Heights, Manhattan, NYC;
Maybe Connecticut, too?
However, this project is larger than that, and I know understand that it’s grown beyond my home sewing machine and the desk in my living room. I have this blog. I have a Tumblr account (http://athousandquiltedcranes.tumblr.com). I post the pictures to a Twitter account. I share the pictures on Facebook.
This is perhaps the only location where everything has been written down and centrally located. This is the only place where the “Dedication List” has been published, where any text has been written, where any of my thought process has been included.
But, between all those accounts, do you know how many people potentially see this project?
Every time I continue this project, there’s the possibility that over 10,000 people see this. Not everyone has been there from the beginning granted, but as I wind this up… there are 10,000 of you.
Which is cool and exciting and humbling and wonderful and encouraging. It is.
And it only under-scores what I hoped to remind myself with this project. I am connected to others and other people are connected to me… even if I was feeling alone and isolated in the upper reaches of Manhattan (after living a “grand” life on the Upper East Side).
Especially now when I feel so incredibly isolated now that I’m in Portland.
The 10,000 people. I know some of you. I don’t know so many of you or where you are or what you do or how you found me or what you think or have thought about this. You’re all anonymous, for the most part. But I thank you for being with me on this journey, from your specific part of the world.
And some of you have given back. I have had the wonderful opportunity to accept donations from people in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Indiana, California, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Oregon, Canada, and England.
(I apologize if I didn’t include all the places… that’s what I can remember off the top of my head right now.)
My location has reached your location.
I’ve moved a lot over 39 months. I’ve changed a lot over 39 months.
My life has changed. My here has changed.
But I am still here.
I am still here.
I am here.
And thank you.