28 August 2013

XXV

Twenty-five years ago, I think today, I landed in New York and started pounding the pavement in search of an apartment near NYU, where The Mate was starting film school while I was in search of a job.

I remember getting thoroughly lost in search of Perry Street, deep in the West Village, and feeling even more lost when I stumbled on the intersection of West 4th and West 10th, because if I knew anything about New York, it was The Grid north of Houston.

I stopped in a pizza place and ordered two slices and a lemonade for $2.50 and was completely baffled when the guy behind the counter asked, "T-steh-o-d-go?"
What?
"T-STEH-O-D-GO!?!"
Whaaaaa?
"T-STEH....  O-D-GO."
Oh, oh, for here.

We ended up on West 15th Street.  On Sundays I might jog down Washington Street toward the World Trade Center, or wander about the meat-packing district, where the only other soul might be a stray dog or a  lingering lady of the night.  Sometimes I went to the trash transfer station on the Hudson River and marveled at the amounts of garbage my fellow New Yorkers produced.

On Sunday mornings, we might bike to the Cloisters or to Coney Island, seeing the panorama of humanity from all over the world along the way.

We lived in Chelsea for two years, then moved to the East Village for fourteen, then spent five years in Washington Heights, and a few years ago landed in the Lower East Side.

One of my favorite things to do these days is to walk the dog along the East River in the evening and stop mid-way between the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, just too far to hear the traffic on either, and watch as the subways snake their way across.  The surface of the water flickers with reflected light and joggers and bikers pass quietly behind me and I'm at peace.

Twenty-five years later, I'm still crazy in love with this city.