My New York State of Mind: Snapshots
GREEN: All around. Spring foliage shouting overpowering green-ness, a refreshing sight to these sore eyes coming from a grey and brown drought-ridden city.
Commencement at Columbia University: a vast sea of euphoria among powder blue-clad graduates and proud family members, few dry eyes among us. The speeches encouraging graduates to go forth and make this world a better place spoke to all present. I felt a graduate once more, eager to do grand things with my days. (In October I’ll be attending my 50th reunion of my Berkeley class!)
Metromania: Descending the stairs into the mouth of the monster, the pervasive odor of metal, humidity, rotting garbage and urine and the rhythmic clackety-clackety-clack invade my senses. Read the signs, find the blue line, the R car, “stand clear of the closing doors”, scramble out to find the red line, up the stairs, cross the hallway, down the uptown stairs to the opposite platform, wait for the number 2 express and watch for rats scouring the tracks, then transfer at Times Square to the yellow line, get off at 14th Street, find the southwest exit. Uptown, downtown, across town, our days are constant movement. At night faint rumblings from that subterranean world ease us into sleep in our basement apartment.
Grand Central Station at six p.m.: a maze of humanity, a swarming anthill, crisscrossing, colliding, hurrying-hurrying and, in the midst, bewildered me searching for a U.S. mailbox.
Garbage: Shocking and discouraging was the sight of the mountains of non recyclable garbage produced at The Shake Shack where we dined in Grand Central’s food court. Add to that the garbage from the thousands of fast food enterprises and one wonders if home recycling can ever make a difference.
Parks: Central and Riverside Parks and community gardens are green, leafy gems inserted throughout the city providing respite to us, the birds and the squirrels. We spot blue jays, robin redbreasts and bright cardinals who treat us to their song – a walk in the woods – in the city.