What I think about when I think about New York
Walking around the streets in my boots.
Cold. Rain or snow or sleet or just muggy in summer. Weirdly, it sounds like there is no good reason to ever be outdoors, but there is. People watching. Walking on the streets, you feel that thick vibration of all those people who want something and are moving really quickly to get it.
In all the movies, you see people walking quickly in New York. It is the original Gotham City. It feels exciting and thick with desire.
People think more slowly in other parts of the country, and that’s a good thing. Part of the exhaustion of being in NY is the whole sense that everybody is moving so quickly. That decisions are being made yesterday.
There are people on the subway and on the street. Everywhere. Not looking at each other. I once made eye contact with a guy and here’s the really bad thing, I smiled. Like anyone in LA might do. He followed me for blocks, I finally got rid of him near the World Trade Center memorial. I don’t smile any more. At least I try not to.
People in NY drink more than people in LA. Because they can. They can drink and still get home safely, and so they do. Plus they’re indoors more. I don’t think I’m going to try running on this trip although I’ll be gone ten days. I need to get my energy back and get on top of it and then I’ll get back to running.
I like our events in NY in smoky bars, in dim spaces where the smell of martinis rises from the walls and filters into the curtains. I like the energy and excitement and then I like to get home.
Our garden is one big shower of jasmine, spilling over the walls and into everything. The purple kale and endive is ready to pick so we are having fresh greens every day. I like to travel because I can come home. I am flying Virgin which always makes me feel peaceful.
The reading last night at Boston Court was great. Kate Coles, Dan Vera, Peggy Shumaker and then Terrance Hayes made up an outstanding group. Each of their voices different and unique and with a lot of story and wild and dark and light and chords of music and skeins of song. And now in the train on the way to San Diego, looking out at the beach and the nuclear plant, I remember it and feel the beating of that music.
I look forward to the New York readings. To the tightly crowded city, to my tiny hotel room, to the Westside Market where I buy almost all my food. To the city that never sleeps. To getting enough sleep while I’m there.