I had to ride the train to NYC recently to conduct some business. I had never ridden the train before and had never been to NYC by myself either, but some things must be done and so I did it. I always say, “I can DO anything, I am just not comfortable doing it sometimes.”
I noticed a number of things on my trip and thought I’d just let them come to me as they will…
On my up to NY, I looked at all the housing that clings to the sides of the railroad tracks. It was an interesting observation. There were row houses in Baltimore that were largely boarded up and vacant. I wondered how we could have the housing issues we have with so many empty houses. My mind raced, thinking if anyone could fix these places up, then rent them, that would be better than leaving them to rot. It was strange to see 4 and 5 rows of empty houses and then one house in the entire row with signs of habitation. Around Wilmington, there seemed to be a renovation of sorts. All the buildings by the tracks were undergoing improvements, with revitalization in both living areas and and retail. The houses around Philadelphia were dirty and run down with trash in their yards and the houses near Trenton announced their blue collar owners with pride.
When I got into Penn Station, I was amazed at how much it reminded me of a rabbit warren.. tubes and tunnels all over the place.
Walking up 6th avenue around noon, it was crowded. Ahead of me there was a tall woman. She had to be at least 6 foot, dark hair and willowy. Two Hispanic men were following her and watching her move, talking about her the entire time. They laughed and then one made a hand gesture to emphasize what he was saying, leveling his hand at his height (about 5 foot 3 or so) and comparing it to her. The men jabbed each other and turned the corner.
Still while walking up 6th avenue (I had to walk a mile) I got behind a woman who was wearing a pink top, heels, severely pulled back hair and tight black pinstripe capri’s. She was painfully thin and the stripes did nothing for her that was nice. All they did was accentuate how thin and linear she was. The only curve on her was the one where her thighs didn’t meet and she looked like she had just gotten off a horse that she’d been riding for a long time. Even her legs bowed outward before continuing down. I couldn’t think of a polite way to tell her that she should never wear tight pinstriped capri’s again.
While walking NYC I noticed an interesting phenomenon about pedestrians. Pedestrians cross the street like waves crash on the beaches. At some point, someone decides to stop and wait for a safe time to cross. This is almost like a signal, because others also stop (even if there is no traffic) and begin to gather, like the swell of a wave. More and more people accumulate and you can see them all beginning to lean forward and then, suddenly, the mass of people break and flood into the street, flowing in two directions as once like a confluence, and just as suddenly, the flow of people begins to recede until one of them stops and it starts all over again.
At 7th Ave and W 52nd, just above some of the busiest and most crowded areas in NYC (Times Square) I approached an unusually empty corner and glanced aside at the woman who had just stepped up perpendicular to me. There before me was a lady who’s child belongs to the Children’s Chorus and I had worked closely with for the first time this spring. What was the likelihood that in NYC, I would be meandering up 7th avenue towards Central Park at 4 in the afternoon and bump into this woman. It was really strange!! Both of our jaws dropped and we looked at each other in astonishment.
And now, I’ll infect you all… It’s a small world after all.. It’s a small world after all…