April 19, 2004
I'll attempt to capture some essence of my trip to New York City, but as the rhythm of home and work crescendo, there will be gaps.
I've seen NYC a handful of times — each visit completely different than the prior one.
My first time, with my brother 14 years ago revealed a dark but fascinating place. Clubs and tight shirts then retreats to Long Island where he lived. The compressed neighborhoods and filth. Then there were the museums, my mouth open, pointing and yelling to my brother, that's (insert famous work from Art History 101).
Years later, another trip with friends, dancing all night at a rave hopped up on some drug of the alphabet, sweating and smiling, leaving at dawn for mimosas at an outdoor cafe in SoHo. Crashing the afternoon away, piled up on the living room floor of our host, only to wake up in the evening to people-watch on the lower east side from the fire escape.
Then, a business trip where I was scared and alone, but managed to befriend someone from the company to take in a reading of poetry in some trendy district. The lunches paid for by company card — I'm still not able to remove the taste of steamed dumplings that lingers in my noggin, hoping to find them again.
Years passed before I returned. This time for a long weekend with a business colleague, pampering ourselves with a stay at some Leona Helmsley hotel with a fantastic view of Central Park.
I found each visit to the city increases my comfort with the vertical expanse and blur of people. Each time, it seems cleaner and more approachable.
A formidable hat tip to Thor, for the company and touring. He made the few days I had there what it was.
I can't really put it all together, so I'll just whittle this to bullet points:
- Learning new words like monograph and bukkake (though the spelling of the latter may be all wrong)
- Finding out that I am not the only one on this planet who sweats as profusely.
- Catching the waft of air that Nayland occupied, and smoking one of his big fat cigars.
- Meeting Matt and not realizing he was a fella I've been
stalkingreading for a few weeks.
- Eating the most delicious strawberry ever at the potluck dinner. In fact, every bit of food on the table that night was exceptionally full of flavor.
- Rubbin elbows with Glenn around the poker table, and rubbing his backfur as I gave him a hug leaving.
- The bookstores. The Strand in particular.
Hell, I can't remember it all.
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