A Couple Days in Manhattan

...Are good for the soul.

I highly recommend an architectural tour of the island by boat to deepen your love of the city. My friend and I boarded an elegant Classic Harbor Line boat near Hudson Yards. White tablecloths, all windows, champagne for the ladies and an IPA for me in celebration of my Irish ancestors who passed through Ellis Island. The architect tour guide was a trove of information, past and present, about many amazing sites we passed by, and he had a lovely, respectful ethic. Filled with hope for humanity, we went south, paying a visit to Lady Liberty, then up the East River, through Hell Gate to Harlem River, under the Henry Hudson Bridge and back down the Hudson River.

Here is some of the shoreline. I apologize for the subpar quality. Just enjoy it in a general sense if you will. Then you can go see it for yourself if you want. It's fun when everyone around you is also filled with wonder. It was a fresh, windy day with water spray hitting our faces as we leaned over the deck's rail.

I'm not a fan of patriotism when it's blind or a one-upping of another people, but the Statue of Liberty evokes a sense of relief that we have the freedom a democracy affords.

From the harbor, we took the High Line, an artsy walkway along an old freight rail line to the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District. The cafe there is lovely. It is one of my favorite museums and the exhibits did not disappoint. A gentleman, dressed in denim bib overalls and sporting a red felt bowler hat, lounging on a couch introduced himself as the Mayor of the Meatpacking District after I responded to his inquiry that, No, I did not know who he was. I'll keep my eyes open for him next time though. He directed me to an article about him, which I read later. He has done some commendable things, like produced a film exposing child trafficking in South Asia. He opened the discussion asking me where I procured my rather beat-up cowgirl hat, explaining that he had hair but chose to wear hats as a matter of course. 

I had the next day to myself to explore.

The little Prince also enjoying the lovely afternoon. Is his spirit inside me, I wonder? How about inside you? A dear little fellow who followed his heart. Good to see him commemorated here on this shady street running along Central Park.

Or are you more like a fawn?

What is he thinking? This bronze bear and fawn sculpture is in Morningside Park. You can feel the dynamic.

It takes me a long time to cover much territory walking as I am slayed by visuals, like the shadows of this fire escape.

And I stop to think of the past when I see its insistent traces.

I look at all of the architectural magazines still available and smile. I examine the cover of each one. And think how rich this life is.

I needed to duck into a cool, dark church and say a prayer. Saint John the Divine just didn't feel like a place of worship without the pews. Even the Holy Spirit fled. But I found him across town at Saint John the Baptiste. I'd go to a service there.

Found some dancing trees near Fucky Fourth street, dubbed fucky as its path across lower Manhattan is serpentine, as are their poses. 

Does anyone else remember the scene in What's Eating Gilbert Grape where the fire department has to get his super overweight mother (or was it her corpse?) out of her upper floor bedroom with a crane?

That was my first thought when I saw the rescue trucks and turned my heel to saunter in another direction.

I did get caught up in some street drama a little later, calling 9-1-1 at the behest of a woman distressed over a man who passed out in front of her. There were some complications and I'm not sure what resources the city has to help out every drugged-out homeless person. It does make you think of what a better model would look like though. I think the stats are around one in five adults in the United States suffering from a mental disease. And the prognosis is not looking good in the elementary school population in Appalachian Virginia. I posted about Kensington a couple weeks ago, the druggie neighborhood in Philly I have since heard is being dispersed for political reasons, possibly kickbacks from a developer wanting the land. This displacement does not address the underlying problem of drug addiction, so I am asking what a compassionate solution would look like.

Ah, yes. Take me back to the land of money where escapism can be bought.

West Village tableau

Sadly, it's already time to leave town...

The drinkers at the bar lent a fierce swagger to the ambience. You could feel it just walking down the terminal hallway. Of course I was going in. 

Look at this photo and hear Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats crying out "SOB, gimme a drink!"

Real women.