Monday, January 23, 2006

"Therefore, wander"

Sunday was a walking day, my first in about two weeks.
It was a trek interspersed with wonderful chats and nostalgic sights.
I walked from North Jersey to Manhattan's Upper West Side to meet a new-old friend. We met recently through a mutual interest in Buddhism and shared a correspondence. Discovering that geography had favored us, we decided to have lunch at a place not far from where we live.

From there, I walked east across Manhattan along 75th Street, cut through Central Park -- right past Strawberry Fields and within site of the Dakota Hotel, where John Lennon was launched into eternity -- and down to First Avenue.
From there, it was a brisk walk downtown, past a gaudy cigar store Indian, and down to the United Nations complex, where I entered a time portal.
A whole fleet of 1950s and '60s cars, taxis and motorcycles was parked along the curb, pristinely arrayed like the models I built as a kid. I was told that there had been a movie shoot earlier in the day, and now the vehicles were being loaded onto flatbed trucks to await their next casting call.

I continued downtown, hoping to walk to Brooklyn.
First, I stopped for a snack at my friend's restaurant in the East Village. He wasn't there, but his lovely niece was. It was a slow afternoon, so she regaled me with stories of her new roommate, and her school days back in Japan, and her favorite characters from Japanese history. She served me eda mame -- boiled and salted soybeans -- which made me thirsty for beer, which, of course, I had to follow with sake.
So much for Brooklyn.
Rather than an 18-mile walk, I glady settled for 12. I still had the walk back uptown to Columbus Circle at 59th and Broadway ahead of me, followed by the A train to the George Washington Bridge and the trudge back to Jersey, so it was time for a reluctant farewell.
Where does the time go?


Green said...

There seems to be a lot of fun in NY!
Now I am a country mouse, miss a big city life.

Michael said...

Yes, Greensleeves, there is lots of fun in New York City. But my favorite place on Earth is in the Japanese countryside, in the middle of nowhere. My words can't describe the feeling.

mrsbeach said...

I love reading about your walks and the pictures. Thanks for sharing.
When my son is better, we will go downtown and take some pictures of our fair city. you take care Michael.

Michael said...

Thank you, dear Beachy!

g said...

I used to live in Bergen County and work in the City. I follow your walking accounts in my mind's eye. Thanks for the travelogues.

Michael said...

And thank you, g. I was born and raised on Long Island and have lived within about 10 miles of midtown Manhattan for six years now, but it has been only within the past couple of years that I have warmed to the city and all it has to offer.