Sunday, January 01, 2006

I'm just a travelin' man ...

First sunset of the new year, on the New York City side of the Hudson River looking toward the 79th Street Boat Basin.

First levitation of the new year, on the Hudson River path. (Actually, these three women were playing jump-rope, but the movement of the rope was too quick for my camera to capture.)

First scam of the new year, on First Avenue. No thanks, I think I'll wait 364 days to see how the year plays out.

I began 2006 pretty much the way I ended 2005: with a walk. Today's was my customary 12-miler from New Jersey to my friend's Japanese restaurant in the East Village in Manhattan.
I set out expecting solitude because it was a holiday. Perhaps the swarms of other people on the Hudson River trail expected the same thing.
It really wasn't that crowded. Anyway, a crowd is the loneliest place, as they say.

The Hudson was so calm on this brisk day. The only ship traffic I saw from the George Washington Bridge was a massive barge being escorted like a fat dowager by a tugboat as it inched its way upriver.
In midtown Manhattan, the revelers who came Saturday night to see the ball drop in Times Square were still milling about, making the most of the fact that New Year's fell on a weekend. The East Side down First Avenue was its usual dark and deserted self on a late Sunday afternoon, which is why I so love walking down that street from 59th Street, past the United Nations and down to about 23rd Street, where the pedestrian traffic picks up as you get closer to the East Village.

Walk walk walk.
Think think think.
Angels and demons vying for my thoughts.
I'm just passing through.


Chris said...

Your walks are like my bike rides. Totally different landscapes to be sure (I live in the midwest). It's good thinking time or even not-thinking time for me. Just absorbing the countryside as it whisks by.

I think my rides will slow down in pace a little in the coming year, and a camera should not be too much extra baggage, I think.

Beth said...

nice pictures! the jump-roping women are great. i like your last two lines: angels and demons vying for my thoughts/i'm just passing through.

anu said...

Some day i will visit you there Michael and then we can go for a walk together.

May i join you for a walk?

Michael said...

Hello Chris H,

Walking and cycling are great ways to stretch the legs and stretch the mind. I really love my walks. You don't miss much at 3 mph. The camera's just icing on the cake.

Hi Kim,

Yeah, the jump-ropers were really nice women. Really funny, too. With a laugh, they asked me if their picture was going in The New York Times. I told them I had something much smaller-scale in mind.
As for the angels and demons, walking can be a little like Jacob's ladder, and zazen. Lots of stuff can be stirred up.

Hi Anu,

You can join me for a walk ANYTIME!

Green said...

Jump-roping women's photo is very impressive.
I've never seen grown up women doing here, Bay Area,
although I really wanted to...
I admire New York!

Michael said...

Ohayo gozaimasu Greensleeves,

Yes, it was a very pleasant surprise to come across these women. They were laughing like schoolgirls and were having so much fun, completely oblivious to everything except the joy of jumping rope.
Why is it that we hide this part of ourselves when we "grow up"? I don't think we lose it. It's always there, maybe just below the surface.

reallynotimportant said...

"I don't think we lose it. It's always there, maybe just below the surface. "

We do not lose it. We deny it. We don't let it out because we would become "self-conscious". It is "not what adults do" or we use alcohol as an excuse that allows us to play without guilt.

Once there is no Self, you cannot be Self-conscious. Then you can act and play like a child because the child never left you.

Michael said...

Hello RNI,

I agree completely. And I thank you for expressing it so simply and succinctly.

LBseahag said...

I missed your insights!!!

I hope the new year brings you peace, hope, and strength....

and strong stomach muscles for all of life's deep gaw-fasss....

Michael said...

My Dear LB,

You've been sorely missed during your absence. Welcome back, and may 2006 be a wonderful year in every respect for you and yours!