The Unbearable Banishment: a brief walk in manhattan

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a brief walk in manhattan

I attended a meditation class last night in the city. The topic of last night’s talk was particularly meaningful to me. It gave me the fuel to deal with some sticky issues I’ve been having and when I left I was floating on hope and resolve. There was a warm June breeze so I decided to walk to Penn Station.

I popped my ear buds in and headed south on Park Avenue. My freakishly reliable iPod shuffle selected George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue off of the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s Manhattan. That song is New York personified. I turned west onto 34th Street and just as that first crescendo hit after the bluesy clarinet intro, I looked up and saw the Empire State Building.


The crown was bathed in blue light. I am embarrassed to admit that it gave me a tremendous lump in my throat. It was a perfect, harmonious moment. New York City is a magical place that will fuck with you every which way it can.

With Gershwin still playing in my head, I walked down 34th Street and saw:

A group of serious looking businessmen in expensive suits standing on the corner of 5th and 34th. They briskly shook each other’s hands and all walked off into the night in different directions.

The cross town M34 bus racing between Madison and 5th. I could see a couple in the back seat stealing a kiss.

Two tourists standing in the middle of the sidewalk (of course) in front of the Empire State Building carefully pouring over a map of Manhattan. They had big smiles on their faces.

A pretty girl approached from the opposite direction. We did that dance where you try and get out of each other’s way but nearly collide because you both step in the same direction. She smiled at me as we passed. Being smiled at by a pretty girl never gets old.

I bought an ice cream cone ($3) from her.


You don't see that many girls in a Mister Softee truck. She was parked just off of Herald Square and was wearing a pair of really cool Batman earrings.

The program to close off portions of Broadway to vehicular traffic
and create pedestrian malls has been so successful that Mayor Bloomberg decided to expand it for the summer. Here, the section of Broadway in front of Macy’s (The Worlds’ Biggest Store) is open for lounging.


All that from just a lousy walk to the train station. I love this goddamn town.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Jimmy Bastard said...

I'm kinda smitten with it myself now. Meet me at the airport, we'll go for a few beers and you can show me around.

June 9, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
OpenID daisyfae said...

i'd forgotten the magic of the soundtrack. had that happen in the Philly airport - Annie Lennox crooned Whiter Shade of Pale while people around me seemed to move as if choreographed...

this makes me want a big city. not to just live in one, but to have one. the way you do...

June 9, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

although this city does have it's moments NYC ain't all it's cracked up to be.

this coming from a native who was born and raised here and,on my more pessimistic days,tired of living here. one day i'll live the small town life...

that isn't in new jersey!

haha! no offense UB!

June 9, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Jimmy: I know a few pubs that I think might make you feel right at home.

Daisy: Music enhances pretty much everything, doesn't it? Just to visit NYC is enough for most. I am a special head case.

Jason: Ah! The voice of reason! No offense taken. We all have our own poison. Mine, apparently, is concrete.

June 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

We've got the iconic Manhattan poster hanging in our hallway. My Man insisted. (Not that I put up any resistance.)

June 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Neat post.

June 9, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

You can tell how much you love the city. It's an easy city to love.

I'm intrigued by the meditation class, something I've thought of doing. Any recommendations?

June 10, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Pickles said...

wow. I can almost smell it. Great city, great ode.

June 10, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ellie: Every home should have a little piece of New York in it.

AMF: An email is on the way.

Pickles: Ummm…smelling New York is usually something to avoid

June 11, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
OpenID hereinfranklin said...

I swear iPods are freakin intuitive sometimes.

June 11, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

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