Hanging in La Guardia Gardens, just south of Washington Square, this large shiny ball looks far less Christmassy in reality than it does here. It was a quick dash to NYC, with an errand to carry out - I couldn't really stay longer because of having to head out and buy flowers for tomorrow's house showings (yes, I know that they sell flowers in NY, but I couldn't really face carrying increasingly droopy armfuls of them on New Jersey Transit). But as it was sunny I ignored the subway as much as possible, and walked back to Penn Station from Chelsea, thinking the whole way how much I love the city, and have done since I was first electrified by it in 1979.
And it was full of its usual quirkiness - the man bicycling down 5th Ave. with two hockey sticks; the red-tailed hawk lazily circling round and round over Washington Square looking for pigeons; the manic leafleting by representatives of Jews for Jesus. And then there was the phenomenon of "Staying Alive." I first heard the jagged sounds of the Bee Gees as I stood waiting to cross at some lights - apparently coming from a cab that was stationary in traffic. A little further up, from another cab - which seemed to me weird, that they would both have the same radio station on - but coincidences happen. And then, I became convinced that it was wafting up from underground - a Saturday Night Fever fest on the subway? Then, the tune was coming from a Fed Ex van.
It was quite some time later that I realised that the iPhone in my pocket had jammed on, with "Staying Alive" on endless repeat in the form of a YouTube video (quite what that was doing on my iPhone at all is another problem). I have a nasty feeling that a number of people who passed me may well have consigned me to the role of NY eccentric: someone who can't walk around without broadcasting the Bee Gees to anyone who happens to be in the vicinity.