It's been a crazy week. Since last we met I've been up and down the Hudson like a flying Dutchman on crack. But fear not, I took notes and I'm back to report on all that I found wonderful about this most relaxing extended weekend. In fact, I took so many notes that I'm going to begin and leave you all on the 4th and pick up from there tomorrow. So -- here's part one of n.
We begin our journey, like so many of my journeys before, in The Bronx. Home to my favorite lunatic and his cat. I arrived at Marc's at 5: and waited on his stoop. I love stoop-sitting. My ass hits concrete and I transform back to the girl from the suburbs. Bronx stoops are among the best, because up there in Yankee country, they like to build up. Garage on the bottom, people on the top. That's the general idea, and sometimes it morphs into basement on the bottom, but the idea is the same. And it means the stoops are steep and the view is great. It's also hard for passers-by to turn their heads far enough to see you without appearing curious (something a good New-Yorker never never does) so you can really get a good look without being seen yourself.
When Marc arrived we dropped my stuff inside and caught the downtown 6, aiming for Jesse's. Around Parkchester, a man and a woman boarded the train with a little girl. The girl sat down on the bench across from me and Marc, and we immediately established eye contact. This girl was adorable; absolutely stunning. With a blue tongue and straight baby teeth she flashed repeatedly. Were we the audience or the performers?
When the family got off at 125th to transfer to the express train, the fireworks crowd had filled in most of the space between us. Marc and I both noticed the family boarding the train across the platform at the same time. Marc turned to me and said, "I'm going to miss that little girl."
We took the 6 all the way to 23rd, reasoning that staying on the local meant keeping our seats, precious in this crowd. We climbed the stairs and emerged on the street, joining the throngs already headed East for the show. A quick stop at a deli for 2 Gerbera daisies for Jesse, and we turned left up 2nd Ave. Jesse's doorman called up for us, announcing us as "Kate and Marc." Marc corrected him as we brushed past a retreating deliveryman: "Marc and Kate."
Thank goodness Jesse was lean mean grilling hot dogs, as I hadn't eaten all day. I wolfed down a few and clumsily chatted with some 2nd-degree acquaintances I hadn't seen in months at least. Interestingly, friends of friends are dating and so my social loops are beginning to close in on me. The confusion resulting from this situation is probably the reason why Joe doesn't advocate mixing friends.
We headed up to the slimy roof and joined the fanatics in their lawnchairs and flip flops. I was surprised how many young people apparently own apartments in Jesse's building.
The view from the roof was maddening. The sensory onslaught of New York struck me yet again and I really lost myself in the moment. With the fireworks a mere 10 blocks away, spectators visible in every direction, peering out from each of the city's crevices, I felt the oneness that is New York. Ugh, that sounds so trite, but I just can't think of a better way to express the feeling of being mutually interested with strangers. It is unfortunate that it takes this sort of flaming cartoon siege to bring out the fans.
Even with the plumes of smoke blowing toward us and obscuring the view, I was so taken. Jesse, of course, blamed himself for the wind and the smoke, and the rain and the lack of music and the rules against drinking on the roof... but no mind. The event was actually embellished with all of that -- the entire New York sky seemed to light up with each flash. And so for the second time in a week, I got to play a game of Lightning or Firework?
The mist must have started after we sat back down in Jesse's apartment. As we left his building, we strolled easily past the umbrella musterers and headed for the subway. The mist picked up and became a drizzle. As usual on days like these, the cops were out in full force.
Overheard as we passed a clump of uniforms huddling under an awning on 24th: "I'm gettin' wet, Sarge."
more to come...Posted at 11:24 PM in category Old (this category is huge!)