Saturday, October 22, 2016

Arrival



We got into NYC in the early afternoon, so the drive in from JFK was a fair breeze through the old derelict-looking neighborhoods that set the backdrop for so many 1970s movies.  As we crossed the bridge and entered the city, I began shooting pictures out the cab window as it made its slow crawl to the hotel.  It was overcast, the only overcast day of the trip, and the city looked beat, but maybe only because I am more accustomed to a summery city.  The grays looked grayer, the dark colors darker.  Everything looked scraped and bruised and chipped had a slight patina of rot.

Weather is everything.

I chose to stay at the Algonquin Hotel for two reasons.  The first was nostalgia.  I had stayed here long ago and usually stop in to have a drink in the lobby when I am tired and mid-town.  The other is that it is central to most things.  A mile this way or a mile that will put you anywhere, and I don't mind walking.  As a matter of fact, I prefer it.  And, if we tired, a cab ride home would not be very expensive.  It was strategical.

Our room was big enough and quiet as a church.  It is a miracle to stay midtown without the sound of construction or car horns or sirens, and that first night, we slept twelve hours.  I don't think I have ever slept twelve hours before, but we repeated the feat the next night, too.  It was, I think, a testament to my stressful, unravelling life.  No one goes to Manhattan to sleep let alone half the day.

Maybe I should buy that bed.

That first afternoon, though, was an orientation.  We walked this way.  We walked that.  Hungry, I suggested we go to the MoMA for lunch.  MoMa for lunch?!?  Right?  But I love museum cafes.  They can be counted on.  And so we ordered a skirt steak and wine and a mixed bean salad and some cheese and some more wine, and my companion was delighted and impressed.

"Didn't I tell you?" I said.

Sure, there are a many better places to eat in the city.  I am sure of it.  I just don't know the city's restaurants, and I am not really ready to learn as I never eat much when I am there, and the museum cafes are never bad.  I can be ridiculed for this, but I even think that they are good.

Day turns to night earlier in there than it does in my own sunny southern hometown, and the city was turning blue when we exited the museum into the street.  I love the city when its blue.  The Blue City.  It is thrilling.

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