Sunday, December 11, 2005

Back on the road

In the background, the 59th Street Bridge, which connects Manhattan with Queens

A glance back on the path I traveled, with the GWB barely visible in the distance

Fishing on the New York side of the Hudson, in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge

Too cold for these pigeons to fly

Getting ready to step off the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River and into upper Manhattan, and with time to spare for a cheesy self-portrait

Poetic justice?

Me at 125th Street and 12th Avenue in Harlem, underneath the elevated Riverside Drive.

Sunset on the Hudson River trail. I have no idea what the green dot is. Damned digital cameras...

The reward: Chicken teriyaki and some tasty trimmings at my destination, Shiki Kitchen in the East Village

Me and my friend Shiki-san, right, owner of Shiki Kitchen at First Avenue and St. Mark's Place

Today I took my first 15-mile walk in several weeks, and now, safely back home, I feel like a new man.
Above are some photos I took along the way.
I walked from Fort Lee, N.J., to the East Village in New York City and then part of the way back.
For those of you familiar with the area, I walked across the George Washington Bridge to the Hudson River path, then down to 67th Street in midtown Manhattan. I left the river path, walked down West End Avenue to 59th Street, headed crosstown (passing the southern end of Central Park), turned right at First Avenue, and then headed to my friend's Japanese restaurant at First Avenue and St. Mark's Place.
After dinner, I walked west to Third Avenue, uptown to 59th Street, crosstown to Broadway, and took the A train (thank you, Duke Ellington) from Columbus Circle back up to the GWB, which I crossed on foot once again to Fort Lee.

For those of you unfamiliar with the route, my path took me through the heart of a metropolis of 8 million people and
8 million tales of success
8 million tales of woe
8 million memories of babies' first steps
8 million heartaches of saying goodbye forever
8 million Buddhas
8 million delusions
8 million neuroses
8 million missed opportunities
8 million heroes
8 million dreams
and me, alone, walking in the middle of it all...

It was a brisk day with a stiff breeze coming from the south. I don't think the thermometer topped 40 all day and if it did, it wasn't by much.
Walking under such conditions is heaven for me. I rode a natural high all the way down to the Village, and got a beer-and-warm-sake assist back up to the bridge after dinner.
Any further attempts at describing the joy of this walk are destined to fail miserably.
So, enough said.


Lone Wolf said...

Great photo's Michael. I especially liked the photo with the two birds snuggling to keep warm on the light over the highway.
I always wanted to go to New York. Maybe some day.

Michael said...

Thanks for looking, Lone Wolf. Yes, there's no place quite like N.Y.C. Sometimes it's great to visit, other times it's great to get away.

LBseahag said...

I am speechless...these photos showed me so much in your world...
and now I have an image of you...that makes it more real...

thank you for sharing your journey...

LBseahag said...

8 million heros...

and I found one...

can I link you?

Mike Cross said...

I particularly liked the photos of the Lonesome Traveller himself. (Jack Kerouc was a kind of starting point for me too, back in 1978 when I fancied myself as the Lonesome Traveller winding his way through Latin America.)

8 million buddhas all in the shitstorm together? Well, it depends on your viewpoint.

A buddha by the name of "Foolish Thing" posted on the Dogen Sangha Blog a comment on the subject of our intention in Zazen: THE INTENTION JUST TO SIT. The comment was just about the most beautifully clear description of Zazen that I have ever read in English. But for some reason -- who knows why? -- the comment was deleted from the Dogen Sangha Blog.

I would like to get in contact with Foolish Thing. When I followed the original link I found the name of Foolish Thing's blog was "This Brightness," but I could not access it.

Michael, do you have any clue as to who and where Foolish Thing might be?

Beth said...

michael: i'm very familiar with every part of your walk. i grew up in new jersey (bergen county) and lived in new york city for about 10 years. what an awesome day you had!! i'll bet that was one of the best meals you ever had.

Michael said...


As always, thank you! And yes, I'd be honored and grateful for the link.

Hello Mike,

Good to hear from you! I think I remember the post from Foolish Thing you're referring to. Why would it have been deleted, though? Didn't strike me as being worthy of censorship. Did he delete it, or did Nishijima-sensei (or the blog administrator)? I don't know who Foolish Thing is, but I know that sometimes I get a "live bookmark failed to load" error message when I try to access certain blogs, and when I attempt after a few hours, they're back online.


It's a small world and it gets smaller all the time! Funny, but I've lived and worked in Bergen County for seven years now and, though born and raised on Long Island, it was only recently -- say, within the past year or so -- that I took advantage of the county's proximity to New York City for forays there.
I had no idea what I was missing!

Mike Cross said...

Hi Michael,
Thank you for your reply to my question posted on your blog.
Is it possible for us to delete our own comments posted on to other people's blogs? I didn't know it was. I have just spent too much time trying to get a photo into my profile--I succeeded OK in posting photos into my blogs, using Hello, ,but couldn't figure out how to get a photo into the profile.
I also went for a walk of several miles yesterday. A much more satisfying experience than staring into this computer--but for some reason I persist with the latter.

anu said...

Hello Michael,

Your pictures and your homeland is so lovely. My friend R used to stay in Manhattan and from him i have heard so much. Times square, Central park, Hudson bridge, Curry in a hurry (in where he used to eat).

:) wow

and you look lovely.

and i loved the picture of the pigeons warming each other and the lone rider at sunset on the Hudson River trail.


Michael said...

As always, Anu, thank YOU for visiting and for sharing your thoughts!

greenbean said...

Dear Mike, thanks for all the wonderful pictures - Zen In Motion.Take Care and be well and happy;-)lol..Deep Bows

Michael said...

Thanks, Greenbean!