A few streets up and over from the office, I smile and shake my head entering the double doors of the freight elevator. When I moved to New York four years ago, there was a pervasive sense that all of the interesting was disappearing - prettied up for the city’s tourists. I mean residents. I mean tourists.
This particular food space doesn’t have a menu gimmick to make it a destination, and feels real or at least honest in a way the slicked-up public spaces cannot. It is six dollars well spent on a plate of meat, rice, and beans with a courtesy lettuce garnish in the Garment District. Always with the orange hot sauce, that’s partly why you are here.
The other part is to be a few dozen feet away from the street in a quiet industrial hallway, where all the noises have a source you can easily identify. People sit on the stools and enjoy their plates. No one looks at their phone. The tip container is covered in tin foil, but clearly marked. I overtip for access to this open secret, as long as it lasts. As long as I last in a city that, unlike all the others, continues to intrigue. We both have issues with commitment.
Wanting to stay, I bring the big sunglasses back down as a shield and exit into catcalls and near-swipes by the uncoordinated riders of sponsored blue bikes with rounded edges provided by the city for all of us to “explore.”
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."