New York!

NY is amazing! I am in sensory overload, synapses whanging.

NYC Store Front Silver MirrorsThere are many differences between NY and other places I’ve been — Rome and Los Angeles, for example; but what strikes me most is that here in NY so much of life is lived on the street: walking dogs, wheeling bikes, talking to each other, on the phone, aloud to oneself. People are clustered outside shops admiring the window displays (one particularly beautiful: thirty or so old fashioned silver hand-mirrors hanging from the ceiling) or reading menus: a thousand ways to use butternut squash, gourmet tofu, a twenty dollar toasted cheese sandwich.


New Yorkers dress in anything from grunge to tiny skirts and five-inch heels to burqas and parrot-printed African garb and on the skinny chested young men, suit jackets that look two sizes too small.


In the stores the clothes are beyond wonderful and into amazing: cashmere from Italy, transparent crepe de chine, minute dresses in something like neoprene, leather as supple as velvet and something that looks like leather but is really the product of a mad scientist’s bag of tricks. Astronomical price tags.


The people on the street are speaking every language on the globe, so who knows what they’re saying but in English I heard a couple of guys talking pipe-fitting and insulation, a couple discussing the debt ceiling and sounding like they knew what they were talking about, another couple — very young and intense — argued about their relationship, everywhere people were explaining things.


The New York streets are dirty — old Starbucks cups and bits of labels and cash register receipts, there aren’t enough trash barrels. But what I find surprising is that they’re not knee high in litter considering the people I see eating and drinking as they walk, the huge bags they carry.


NY Street Corner with Hotdog Stand and Sax PlayerAnd just about everyone is polite, happy to help a tourist from San Diego who can’t tell uptown from downtown from crosstown. In the subway they tell us we can have the senior discount although we’re obviously not a day over thirty-five. The folks who aren’t polite just kind of don’t hear us which might just be the truth because this is a noisy city what with cars and sirens and brakes and horns and voices all talking at once.


NY is just like San Diego and Chicago and St. Petersburg only way more so. It’s those places magnified, dissected and rearranged and magnified once more. It’s a walk through, live-in museum of the Now, a picture of life on this planet at this precise moment in time.

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