You don’t have to prove anything, my mother said. Just be ready for what God sends.

William Stafford

written on the morning of his death, August 28, 1993


New York City on September 11th. I got to eat at a sidewalk cafe in Brooklyn, something I had always wanted to do. Inspired by countless fil-ums and television shows, I suppose, the slant of light, the notion of being still while the city in all its aliveness walks and breathes and honks its way to somewhere.

We walked a lot that day, spying locations both intentionally, in the case of Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, and by sheer chance, at the Maritime Hotel, made special to us by Bored to Death. Gosh, I love that show. We met our friend Tom on the High Line and had drinks at the Frying Pan, and walked downtown to see the 9/11 Memorial, a swarm of people and the physical sensation of so very many names, my fingers skimming the letters, a blind woman searching for meaning.

We will part ways with our friend here and walk to Little Italy and the Festival of San Gennaro, eat pizza as good as our memory of it at Lombardi’s, and stroll the neighborhood where we first stayed for ten days more than twelve years ago, that simple unimposing building located at 5 Prince Street, bank of windows glowing with the feeling of home, and a near literal hop, skip, and a jump from Bowery and the New Museum.

We’ll walk up Bowery to 14th Street and Union Square, on the way taking my favorite picture of the day, the one just above the Bowery Electric photo, that best captured my mood of the moment, of being happy amongst a sea of humanity on a warm summer evening, all of us separate and doing our own bidding, yet a fingertip distance from one another and thusly connected.

By the end, we had clocked more than nine hours on our feet, which in that dizzy happy tourist way felt like nothing until we plopped down on the subway for our ride home to Queens and laughed aloud at our throbbing feet.


A road trip to the Big Apple! Our streak of toll-less roads is now over some $22.90 later. It was worth every penny and crazy-wild to see highway signs for New York City. The hubster and I were wide-eyed and giddy at the unfolding of the island of Manhattan across the George Washington Bridge. I’d been awake since three, my brain refusing sleep, but after being cooped up in the car all day could not wait to walk, and will, over the course of our four day visit, go hog wild in this department, clocking in more than twenty hours.

We bought pastry at Circo’s, chocolate cake for the hubster and a lobster tail (sfogliatella) for me. We ate our treats on a park bench, watching runners and galloping dogs on leashes, and listening to the chatter of a handful of languages that were not our own. Utterly delighted at the musicality of foreign tongues and our sweets, mine tastier than an ancient memory of it and better than the hubster’s, too.

Though I was succumbing to fatigue and the hubster called me his little bobble head for my sleepy resemblance to one, we walked on. It was hot, and we stumbled across a great bar, enjoying surprisingly good frozen margaritas (I normally feel cheated by them) and our kind of music on the hi fi before calling it quits. A great first day!



When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact…that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance; we’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters…

Martin Luther King, Jr.



If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.

Andre Maurois




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