Saturday, February 26, 2011

reflections on Manhattan

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.

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