My wife and I went to a small restaurant for lunch on way-east East 12th Street. And as people so often do in restaurants, we ate a mouthful or two more than we should have. Rather than take a bus home, or a cab, or a ride-share, we decided to hoof it.
New York, for all its new-found gentrification, is still New York and we walked 70 blocks north through about 10 sets of catatonic heroin addicts nodding on various corners in the teens and twenties. We walked under scaffolding, buildings are blooming everywhere, that smelled the smell of 100 gallons of stale urine.
Further uptown, we passed hospital building after hospital building--a tribute to the aging of New York's population and the mammon of the corrupt healthcare system. Then still further in the 40s, the roller-bag toting swarms of out-of-towners and a Babel of languages around the UN.
In the 50s, I walked through what had been my work-stomping-grounds when I was just a cub in the business, and agencies were regarded as so vital to a business' success that they were compensated fairly and could afford mid-town rents.
Then through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, my home turf, where I raised my kids and built my life and own my home.
It was a long--and according to my ancient ligaments--exhausting walk, four miles in all, but it was also energizing in a way I have always found New York to be energizing.
In these days when the world is seeming to crumble, where our tinpot dictator picks fights with their tinpot dictator, where gunmen with stupidly powerful weapons kill innocents from a quarter-mile-away, when our perceptions of foul and fair and truth and lies are upset and upturned and upended, New York remains a place of life. As such it remains life-affirming and real.
Besides, the lunch was delicious.