Out my window above the balustraded cornices of brownstones across the street, the sky is a pale shade of blue and the smattering of cirrus clouds are painted in pink as the sun sets to the west. An early dusk is settling in over Harlem.
The late light is always welcome. As the days in New York grow longer, so too do the adventures. People of all stripes stay out later and longer as the city’s hum carries into the evening.
Spring is a glorious season. One of the only problems I have with it is never knowing quite what to wear. The mornings are often brisk and the evenings cool, too. I find myself walking out the door with a jacket but shedding it by the time I get to the office or to wherever I’m supposed to be after having left my house. To wear a sweater or to not wear a sweater: that is a daily question.
I’m one to show my ankles as soon as possible. I’ve been pushing the envelope for a couple weeks now, sporting Sperry’s without socks and cuffing my pants when the sun shines bright. Many have already pulled out their short shorts and tiny skirts, chiffon tops, tanks, and neon hues. The other day, I saw someone wearing a fur coat with bare legs; surely they had short shorts or a skirt on, but you couldn’t see them. Or maybe they were just wearing the fur. Better to bare legs and don a fur than befit the season top and bottom.
After my morning and afternoon at the pottery studio, I met up with a friend to enjoy Hudson River Park. We made our way to Pier 64, as I had learned earlier in the week from a gentleman at the block association meeting that the daffodils were just gorgeous and worth the viewing. So we made our way west, passing galleries and empty bottles of vodka on the far west side. We took pictures and had a photo shoot.
There was a trio of guys, all in jeans, doing random yoga poses, some more extreme than others. A runner had let his Shih Tzu out of its stroller to enjoy the grass and stretch its legs. Yes, people have strollers for their dogs in New York. Some, including this one, are worth more than a months rent for me. We walked back to the start of the pier on the sloping lawn, chucking as we caught the scent of the day: marijuana. It is 4/20 after all, and a perfect day to enjoy some bud. Harking back to our college past, we both laughed at how different our day would have been. Neither of us keeps pot handy, so we just enjoyed those enjoying it around us.
Lounging in the glow of a western sun, more people passed by. The guy and his Shih Tzu zoomed past, the dog back in his stroller, head popping out, clearly enjoying the ride. Dad ran really fast, so I suppose it made sense to push the dog along. Some people walked by with their bikes. Others rode them, which is not allowed. After a while, having laid down, eyes closed to enjoy the rays, I heard a bike zoom by and yelled “dismount!” without moving form where I laid. They kept riding; we just laughed.
As we enjoyed the river, the daffodils, and the sun, we talked about our lives – as friends are wont to do. Tales from last night and stories from in between the last we’d seen each other. A story about sex, in which asking to be spanked later elicited an apology from the spanker for thinking they spanked too hard (after having been explicitly asked to spank) drew enormous laughter, and further story sharing.
I cherish most the moments that are utterly New York. Today was one of them. I spend my Saturdays in a pottery studio with a bunch of women, most of them far older than me. We have a blast. A couple of weeks ago, one of the ladies was complaining that she had to go to get a mammogram. She said she’d must prefer her husband have at her tits. This was told to all by an 86-year old New Yorker as she molded clay. This is not a story one could make up.
Boston has been on everyone’s mind, and we wondered how something like what occurred there would unfold in New York. It would be hard to shut this place down. Boston did it with aplomb, and they should be proud. As a New Englander, I’m damn proud.
Something that drew a lot of conversation today was how the city was under Martial Law yet no one was calling it that. The lockdown was the right thing to do, but my god, call a spade a spade: Boston was under Martial Law for an entire day. And in the end, the bad guys were caught. There’s also the shocking revelation that there are instances when people who are arrested do not have be read their Miranda rights. This was startling to me.
But above the balustraded cornices of brownstones across the street, the sun has now set and the sky is now dark.