Victoria Jelinek


New York City, NY
September 11, 2010, 11:51 am
Filed under: Travel pieces | Tags: , , , ,

Being able on a Monday night to hear a Japanese band do Hawaiian surf music on Houston at 2am, just after watching an amazing Blue Grass band in Alphabet City while drinking Dixie beer. Anonymity giving you freedom. Every color and kind of person. Noise. Sirens. Yellow cabs, buses. Long cross-town blocks. Every street looking like it could be a set for a film. The smell of urine in the subway in the summer. Insects you never see biting ones ankles in the heat. Amazing pizza – even when the pizza is mediocre, it’s still pretty good. Bagels and coffee from corner carts in midtown that hit the spot. High glass buildings and so much concrete. Chinese delivery in the wee hours of the night. Huge, low moons that lie close to the tops of the buildings. Bridges and rivers. Busy sounds and dirty sidewalks in Chinatown with perpetual traffic down Canal Street. Emptiness and quiet in Lower Manhattan on the weekends. Hipster bars and restaurants in Little Italy and the Lower East Side. Basketball in any of the city parks that are everywhere. Huge museums with the best collections. Shopping, commerce and convenience of any kind imaginable. The smell of rotting fruit and damp in the city grocery stores. Parades seemingly every other month with cops and paddy wagons on every corner for 50 blocks. Neighborhood garden plots. Pirate radio. High fashion. Superstars decked out in casual NYC attire and tennis shoes. Strip joints where the girls wipe down the pole with a paper towel and the servers bring you watered down all-you-can-drink well drinks. Corner stores open all night with flowers of every kind on sale. Hardware stores open 24 hours a day. Pure energy that makes you want to wander the city for days simply looking and feeling.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

A wonderful sense of the place – makes me sad I’ve never been (although the subway smell in the summer doesn’t sound too great – could probably do without that 😉 ).

Comment by MJRS

You really sum up what’s best about the city in a few short words. Although I equate the smell to the corner of 7th and A in the summer of ’95.

Comment by JR




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