Walking home

It is raining now, but the weather was quite spectacular around 7PM, when I walked home from 49th street. There is The wonderful thing about New York is that it is new every single time. It reinvents itself with every walk, every investigative look. My walk lead me through Hells Kitchen at first, with the backdrop of the new skyscrapers rising on Broadway in the 50’s. The Sun made the World Wide Plaza complex look like a sandstone mountain peak.
These large guys stopped me on 58th street. They were quite loaded with happiness. They wanted to have a picture taken. I took a picture and they got so excited that this really skinny old looking guy wanted to join them He was obviously not part of the group, but the situation was so amusing for everyone involved that they included him in a second group shot. When we were done with shooting, there were New Yorkers with fear in their faces looking at me. It was a bit as if I just wrestled with a lion and walked away from it. The situation must have looked dangerous, because the guys were big and loud. They were definitely not dangerous though. The situation was not bad at any time.
Not remotely as bad at least as when this kid with two box-cutters came up to me on a subway. This was maybe five years ago, there was this huge box-cutter scandal, and there were just kids out there who obviously needed to belong to this televised excitement. The train was packed, the kids were loud. This one boy with a girl next to him pulled out two box cutters and came up to me wiping the short blades against each other, right in front of my face. “You will just mess up the blades doing that,” I said, which was just not the answer he expected. “Yeah, this is really bad. You need a stone or something.” I think we both laughed (really... Or at least he put them away.) It was a pretty bizarre situation. I was too tired to react in any other way. I did not want to play the game of knife and fear with him, I just wanted to get home.

I took a stroll on the campus of Fordham University. It is a real oasis right in the area where the historical West Side Story might have taken place. There is a beautifully landscaped, elevated park (Robert Moses Park?), with very interesting statues, paths and benches. I think the place is for students only, but mothers and some older people also discovered this secret oasis where birds are much louder than cars and where grass is greener, because it is being watered even during the current New York City water-shortage. (The sprinklers use recycled condense water only, if we want to believe the posts on the booths of the security wards.) I spent some time in the park taking pictures and watching the sun move further towards the Hudson river.

Amsterdam Avenue is really turning into quite a restaurant-mile. There were so many new and packed restaurants on the way home, I almost wanted to just stay in one of them. Organic, Tibetan, at least two new Japanese places, and there is still room for some of the original Dominican shops, bodegas, launderettes, votive candle stores. I love this neighborhood. There seems to still be a good mixture of various groups. I shot two rolls of film during the walk. Will post pictures later this week.

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on June 17, 2002 11:47 PM.

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