New York City, November 6, 2012

★★ Low but powerful sun. The first light bounced into the living room of the otherwise dark apartment in such concentrated form that it seemed at first, through the doorway, as if a floor lamp had been accidentally left on overnight. A third-quarter moon stood high overhead in a clear morning sky. On the way up the fire escape, in the afternoon, hard, slanting golden light came through the wires of the fence like a strobe. From somewhere among the roofs nearby, a column of white steam went up, vertically at first, then drifting sharply south.