A tree grows uptown
April 29, 2011
©AGJ 2011: West 90th St. & West End Dr.
New York is impossible to reduce to a simple plot line.
There’s too much happening.
At any given moment, someone is stopping on the landing of a fourth floor walkup and catching their breath before taking on the last twenty steps.
Another is picking off a hefty grain of salt from a warm pretzel and dissolving it on their tongue before pushing some of the soft bread into their mouth.
Across town a woman coming from Laguardia is sitting frozen in the back of an unmarked sedan she hopes is a cab. Her suitcase was heavy and he was there at the arrivals gate.
A guy in a grubby bomber jacket, with one hand shoved deep inside a pocket, chest butts another guy in an underground parking lot shouting, “Where’s my money?”
An old man cracks open a giant barrel of pickels and stirs the lot with his arm.
Meanwhile a Brooks Brother in an elevator going down spends 105 floors admiring his watch and staring at other people’s body parts.
Further south, someone on the Lower East Side shouts into an old intercom. “Come on up!” they say, before sliding over chains, turning deadbolts and opening the door to guy holding a paper bag filled with containers of steaming chop suey, pork dumplings and sticky rice.
A kept beauty, one of thousands on the island, spends her entire day on Madison Avenue preparing for her night, turning her legs, hands, feet, roots and nether regions over to the experts. It’s a full-time job looking good, not to mention emotionally exhausting since feelings of fullness and emptiness vie for supremacy throughout her day.
Others worship a different kind of beauty come April: the dogwood and magnolia blossoms burst open like fireworks in courtyard gardens across the city. The trees attract the cardinals and the bluejays whose tweets almost drown out the sound of the delivery trucks and sirens.
♣ The photo above captures the colour of twilight. PhotoShop never entered the picture. These apartments were the stage we stared at while we munched on Chinese take-out.