21 October 2009
new york new york
spending time in new york is a little like stepping inside one of those tiny glass game show booths. where thousands of dollars blow wildly around you as you grab for all you can in thirty seconds or less. see, it's impossible to get your hands on all that cash. and the sooner you realize this, the better off you are. because pretty soon, you run out of places to put all that cash. pretty soon, you run out of time. so you take what you can and you walk away happy. otherwise, you will lose your mind. I had two days in new york. approximately 48 hours to fit in a thousand things. at some point, I had to let go of about 987 of those things. and once I did, breathing was easier. I made my peace with it early on and so my time in new york unfolded exactly the way it was meant to. naturally and without any unecessary push or pull. twas the last day of summer and the first day of fall. I could not ask for more poetic timing. and I took what I could, I did. and I walked away happy.
I spent the last day of summer on the rooftop of von's building, looking out over long island city, breathless over a miniature manhattan skyline. I spent the last day of summer riding clown bikes with my brothers through the streets of queens, weaving in and out of traffic and underneath subway platforms, the deafening sound of trains overhead.
I spent the last day of summer chasing mister softee trucks down broadway. because a cherry-dipped ice cream cone on the last day of summer is the only way to go.
I spent the last day of summer at washington square park, silently rooting for street performers. eventually, I made my way to the land of pretty toy cameras. I visited my favorite new york door. I stopped in at pearl river, picked up a pair of chinese slippers for ava and a wind-up robot for ezra. I was introduced to coconut water. I was confronted with the endlessness of people.
I spent the first day of fall navigating the streets of lower manhattan, armed with my favorite cameras, aka my starting line-up, my a-list players. I spent the first day of fall squeezing into the tiniest booth at the tiniest cafe where the sweetest bottle of mandarin soda was emptied and the best grilled corn in the world consumed. just outside, I photographed stranger number 21. and she was lovely, she was perfect.
I spent the first day of fall in heavy contemplation. new kicks or no? new york, the epicenter of sneaker culture.
throngs of people make for carnivals of overheard conversation. I stopped to scribble down line after line. I bought cheap jewelry off the street. I feverishly added to my collection of found paper. I listened to my brothers talk about computers. I followed von to chelsea where we wandered in and out of galleries.
when it was all said and done, I made my way to the airport. a slow train to brooklyn led me to jen lee's place. and while my sweet friend lovingly prepared lunch (omg, the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich ever), she patiently listened as I babbled on and on about my metaphorical thirty seconds in the glass cash booth.
as it turns out, I made out like a bandit.