Sunday, April 25, 2004

New York X blog.

Last week's visit to New York City was tight, circumscribed both in space and time. All visits are limited in those ways, I suppose, or they would turn into residences, but this one was particularly tight. Except for the run through Queens to and from LaGuardia, I spent the entire 30 hours in Midtown Manhattan, and after deducting professional obligations -- I was in town to attend a conference, and meet with my bosses at company headquarters -- free time was short.

In fact, if I'd wanted to, I could have the entire time in the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, which was the conference hotel, and also where I stayed; at my company's HQ in the Garment District; and in cabs between the two. Of course I did no such thing. For one thing, it's only about 10 blocks from the Marriott to headquarters, so naturally I walked that distance. More importantly, even a few free hours in New York aren't something to be squandered.

So I managed to find an interesting restaurant -- barbecue, of all things -- and then see Twentieth Century, a comedy at the curiously named American Airlines Theater on 42th St., featuring (among others) Alec Baldwin, who turned in a superb performance. That was the first night. The next day, I took a noontime stroll up Broadway and to a patch of Manhattan that I'd never made it to before, Lincoln Center, and then walked back by way of Seventh Ave.

New York remains a favorite of mine for walking. So varied, so folded over on itself. Such a human tide. One of the first times I visited the city, I went with a friend of mine, Steve, and we hadn't walked around too long when we crossed in front of a stationary horse-drawn carriage, the kind that ply through Central Park. Maybe we passed too close to the horse. The horse neighed in close proximity to Steve's head, startling him. "Hey kid," said the driver, "watch out. There's a whole world out there."


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