“I still think of New York City as a powerhouse of a place in which human energy, imagination, and spirit are nourished.”
—Philip Glass, Words Without Music
Since I was 19-years-old and visited for the first time — a whole week! paid for! — NYC has been one of my favorite places in the world. (How could it not be?) One day I hope to have a whole week there again, but recently I’ve made quick, two-day trips: fly in one the morning, stay over, fly out the next night.
Never a resident, always a vampire. Flying in, sucking up the energy, then flying back out. But these quick trips kick up the bloodsucking a notch. (Last time was a visit to my publisher and photo shoot, this time a last-minute corporate offsite gig.)
“There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.”
—Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
On these quick trips, I like to let wherever I’m staying dictate where I go. This time I was staying near Wall Street, so I walked six miles, down to Battery Park for the sunset, then up the esplanade, then east to McNally Jackson to book shop, and finally back down through Chinatown while eating a heavenly strawberry ice cream cone that cost me $6 but tasted like $60.
My gig was on the lower east side, so I got to walk over to Katz’s and Russ & Daughters for the first time and load up on bagels and deli for the plane home. (My bags are stuffed and they smell heavenly.)
There’s still a little bit of funk around there, so I got to take a stroll before and after. Vampiring it up until next time. Now it’s time to board the plane for home.