Conversation overheard on the subway.
Man: I used to live in New York City, but now I live in Florida. I’d forgotten that you walk everywhere in New York City – if I’d remembered I woulda gone to the gym before I got here.
Woman: Well if we walk everywhere, why are we so fat?
Man: Because we eat while we walk.
Yesterday I roamed, and all good roaming in New York City involves climbing subway stairs, up and down. And eating. Starting with my own stop – that’s me in the photo at the home station, Clinton/Washington Av. That was before I wandered along with my bag of edamame.
The subway is not just a train system, it’s a whole city of people underground. Every second person has earphones plugged into their head and most of them are also reading books or staring at screens of varying sizes.
They pile in, they pile out.
Here’s a subway clue: the rabbit hole you’re looking to disappear into is the one with the traffic above ground heading your way. That’s a very smart tip, by the way.
And I’m gettin’ good at switching trains. Crisscrossing town.
And the subway is great exercise itself! A week ago I was a picture of fragility holding onto the rail as I made my way up and down the stairs, limping with my mending broken foot and unbending ankle.
Now, I can veritably bound up and down the stairs, look, no hands!
AND, all that standing and keeping my balance on the clackety train when there are no seats has ironed out the painful kink in my hips and strengthened the little balance muscles in my feet.
I can stand on one foot, take my pick which one.
Yesterday the day began at Washington Square Park. I roamed the streets, sniffed out iconic joints thanks to Patt’s little street cards (hi Patt!).
And then, in the spirit of pursuing my publishing deal, and predawn friendship, I met up with New Yorker Susan Maushart, who’s been in Australia for the last 20 years and has returned to carve out her place in the home city. She’s the one who interviewed me for the Storycatcher interview (www.voyagermoon.com). She’s the one who said I was a ‘born storyteller with a gift for adventure’. The trick is getting New York agents to believe her! We met under the Washington Square arch, we had fresh grapefruit juice (me) and ice coffee (her). She loaded up flagging spirits with tales of her own marvellous reception in the Big Apple.
We went our merry ways, me to continue my tour of iconic New York, this time to the Chelsea Hotel:I remember you well, At the Chelsea Hotel . . . .
That was Leonard Cohen, singing for Janis Joplin. For obvious reasons, Leonard’s mother found the song unnecessary (he told me this, at his Brisbane concert last year).
On my way to the subway station I found this outside a church:
Isn’t that beautiful?I can love this. I can try. I can try and love this. There’s nothing else for me to do. For this is what the living do – One hour and then another And another and another and another . . .
by Mary Stassos
This is what the living do. We try to love.
I remember you well . . .
Here’s the Chelsea Hotel. And the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel.
And then it was back down the rabbit hole for the train to 42nd Street – Times Square. I laughed. Here’s me at Times Square. Go on, laugh with me 🙂
And of course I was also in the heart of the musical district. Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Memphis, etc.
I’ll do Lion King for the kids tomorrow (hi Krys! hi Dyl!).
I stood there amidst all this, a little lost among it today. Not bewildered by the city but by my place in my own dreams, my life.
And returned to the subway for my ticket home to Clinton/Washington Av, for my bag of edamame and a stroll in the evening, back to my place.