Two tween boys walking down the street pass a newly installed holiday display. One grabs the other’s arm, points, and in mock horror says, “Oh my god, WHERE is that bear TOUCHING him?” They both crack up and walk on.
I love New York.
Anyone remember that jingle? It’s from so long ago I can’t even say when. I’ve always been a big fan of libraries, especially the New York Public Library, my hometown system. Never as much as now, however. Because of construction in the apartment above me, I’ve been forced to flee and find other places to write. That’s how I discovered Malcolm Gladwell’s café (no, he doesn’t own it, he just writes there) and some other fine spots around the city; but by far the best is the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at the 42nd Street Library. The building where the reservoir used to be (there, a fact for free) with the lions, Patience and Fortitude, flanking the steps outside. You sit here surrounded by other hard-working people — some of them actually reading periodicals — and by carved moldings, high windows, and frescoes of NYC buildings, with faux-marble frames. What writer couldn’t get something done here?
fresco with faux-marble frame
The grass is still green and thriving, but the leaves are fading, crisping brown at the tips, or turning glorious colors as they variously will. The air is cool, though not yet cold. The wind has started to raise sharper waves on the river. The gray slate pathway is dotted with gold and tan, this leaf-trickle soon to be a flood. Many of the migrating birds have come and gone. The local mallards and Canada geese are still here, as are the local cormorants, though bands of cormorants can be seen overhead heading to their winter quarters. Yesterday, to my surprise, a sloppy V of Brant geese raced chaotically south along the river. Way too early for them in the usual way of things, but climate change being what it is, they must have had a good reason for leaving the Arctic this soon. I hope they find a welcome where they’re going.
Places to go and things to do in the tri-state this weekend. From Dave Cook’s irreplaceable Eating in Translation.