I arrive in New York on Friday afternoon. The sky is blue but the weather report says it's five below zero, in case I hadn't felt the cold's bite on my rump, in my nose that bleeds every time I sneeze. I get to where I think I'm supposed to be only to be told abruptly "Go outside and cross the road".
Across the road - how could I have missed this?
I turn to look at the ceilings, walls, artworks, from every angle.
I write a post-it note and add it to the wall.
After my bag is searched I go to check it and my outerwear into the cloakroom, before I look for the Berg Collection Reading Room.
Then I was lost in my research for the rest of the day, and when I reentered it, the city was a blur.
Saturday disappeared the same way. I transcribed, made notes, wrote questions. Strained my eyes at Mary Taylor's finely wrought handwriting, each letter so uniformly drawn, brown ink on blue paper, like old buildings against ice-blue sky.
This research trip was funded by a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant.