Barges float the
Hudson, people walk their pit bulls in Washington Heights, Jack Russell
terriers in the East Village, and toddlers in double strollers up or
down Central Park West. An anchor on NY1, the cable channel, recites
today's headlines from the metro papers.
never alone in New York. There's already a line for everything. People
bump shoulders, get squished. They inhale the subway and ride too close
to too many, through Brooklyn and the Bronx. Friday evening thousands
of lovers bring millions of flowers to scads of special "someones".
On Saturday you can strip to your skivvies behind a bargain bin at Barney's
Warehouse sale, and not be the only one. Sunday the park is tranquil,
but the ladies room line will be too long to seriously consider.
City heat prowls the street all day but sun hits the sidewalk for just
a few hours. You don't see a lot of sunburned New Yorkers. The week
I arrived, browned from New Mexico, people in Harlem told me I had a
One of my neighbors sat all afternoon in a folding chair at his "summer
house," a red brick utility entrance on 158th street. His umbrella,
boom box and wall-mounted rear-view mirror edged the 5'x5' home. My
pal Duncan and I rambled past, on our way to Riverside Park, bouncing
a blue handball that took a bad hop. It caromed off the sidewalk and
rolled down the street. A young man in a tank top grabbed it for us.
Four weeks and 140 blocks later we watched a blue handball roll down
the sidewalk into the street near 18th Street and Eighth Avenue. Duncan
snagged it and we reunified it with its owner, a youngish guy in a baseball
cap. Could these matching events be statistically possible anywhere
but New York?
The population density gets to some people. "Serciforce! Serciforce!"
said a loud guy on the subway. Then he blurted a haiku:
"I'm gonna hafta
bitch-slap somebody today
It's on my schedule."
Carriage horses circle the park, Live Trucks cruise Broadway, bicycles
deliver take-out food all over the city, and a pink "Hello Kitty"
motorcycle is parked uptown.
What will I do in New York? Write, shoot, shout?
This city has no room, but there's room for everyone.