My home for over fifty years is a place where the world stands still and all things and people come to it.
A place where over one-hundred and fifty language groups live and work and open restaurants on the East Side of Manhattan.
I learned very early that living in New York means you can travel all around the world and never go further than the next subway platform. It’s easy. Jump on a cross town bus, take a subway, cab or hop on a bike.
Sitting on a subway staircase with a paper cup of coffee, sunglasses shaded over with my gray fedora hat, worn jeans and nothing to think about. Just sleepy headed with no particular place to go. Maybe I was coming from a long night. Maybe I was going somewhere and changed my mind as I am prone to do.
Sitting with that first cup of coffee, the first three or four sips of that first cup of coffee and New York City passing in front of me. Subways coming in and out of the station and people scurrying, hundred of faces and the din of rush hour sounds to deafen the ears.
Rush hour in New York City, Columbus Circle and 59th Street, West 8th Street in the Village, I am a voyeur as I watch the neighborhoods change.
Take the A train to Harlem and get off on 125th Street and walk up three or four blocks and go to a local diner for grits and eggs and watch people having breakfast. People watching is better in the early morning when we are more vulnerable.
Sit across the street on someone’s front steps and watch as children come in the morning for school. Mothers and fathers dropping them off. Older brothers or sisters or whoever, deposit them. Then the wiry, little street urchins who take themselves wherever they want, or the ones who trip over everything and can never seem to keep up, book bag falling off one shoulder and one sock drooping down on their ankle.
On another morning I might stop to get a bagel with a “smear” and a large sweet coffee. God is in the heavens and all is good with the world as the rest of the city begins to hustle off to work and I am playing hookie.
City streets with their changing landscape and the stories of their people. People pumping life into the granite and asphalt and the lights strung out over the bridges, the high-rise buildings dancing in the bright, crisp cold night air.
The neighborhood I fell in love with in 1978 follows this … although as blogs work … it was first.
I am a New York City gal at heart and so are all the central characters of what I write. New York City gals, every one, and their mix of ethnic, local, first and second generation in-your-face attitude towards life and love, is the stuff I play with, the words I manipulate, to give you the images of who we all are.
Where is the season of your city, town, village?