I attended a meditation class last night in the city. The topic of last night’s talk was particularly meaningful to me. It gave me the fuel to deal with some sticky issues I’ve been having and when I left I was floating on hope and resolve. There was a warm June breeze so I decided to walk to Penn Station.
I popped my ear buds in and headed south on Park Avenue. My freakishly reliable iPod shuffle selected George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue off of the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s Manhattan. That song is New York personified. I turned west onto 34th Street and just as that first crescendo hit after the bluesy clarinet intro, I looked up and saw the Empire State Building.
The crown was bathed in blue light. I am embarrassed to admit that it gave me a tremendous lump in my throat. It was a perfect, harmonious moment. New York City is a magical place that will fuck with you every which way it can.
With Gershwin still playing in my head, I walked down 34th Street and saw:
A group of serious looking businessmen in expensive suits standing on the corner of 5th and 34th. They briskly shook each other’s hands and all walked off into the night in different directions.
The cross town M34 bus racing between Madison and 5th. I could see a couple in the back seat stealing a kiss.
Two tourists standing in the middle of the sidewalk (of course) in front of the Empire State Building carefully pouring over a map of Manhattan. They had big smiles on their faces.
A pretty girl approached from the opposite direction. We did that dance where you try and get out of each other’s way but nearly collide because you both step in the same direction. She smiled at me as we passed. Being smiled at by a pretty girl never gets old.
I bought an ice cream cone ($3) from her.
You don’t see that many girls in a Mister Softee truck. She was parked just off of Herald Square and was wearing a pair of really cool Batman earrings.
The program to close off portions of Broadway to vehicular traffic and create pedestrian malls has been so successful that Mayor Bloomberg decided to expand it for the summer. Here, the section of Broadway in front of Macy’s (The Worlds’ Biggest Store) is open for lounging.
All that from just a lousy walk to the train station. I love this goddamn town.