1. Sign in subway:
"Some New Yorkers are born.
Some are made.
All are welcome."
Seeing this somehow makes me remember my favorite subway sign when visiting the city years before:
"Hold onto your hopes, your dreams and the handrails."
2. 59th Street subway, #1 train uptown platform cordoned off with tape, forbidding us to enter. Sign says they are working on the tracks and if I want to get uptown I need to go downtown to 42nd Street and catch the #1 train THERE.
I realize it is the weekend, and I have officially entered Subway Hell.
2. Woman directly across from me on #1 train going uptown. She smiles. I smile back. After a while, she wrinkles her nose and looks at me. "Do you smell that?"
"Some kind of chemical something."
3. I momentarily panic, thinking they changed the train to an express instead of a local and I will miss my stop at 110th Street. It IS an express up to 72nd Street but thankfully changes to a local after that.
4. I finally get out and get to where I'm going. My friend meets me for dinner and we go to a restaurant called Henry's. Sunday night in New York; warm, loud, scads of people everywhere but no one bumps into each other, my friend and I chatting away a mile a minute, and the street lights so bright you can see everything you'd see in daylight. Almost.
5. On a bus to Middletown NY, I drag my suitcase up into the bus, find it is too large for the overhead compartment, see another woman put her bag on the seat next to her and decide, "This is New York," before doing the same. There is enough room on the bus, no no one notices.
6. Returning from Middletown where I was visiting my son (student, high holiday visit), HE puts my suitcase on the bus while the driver sits and watches. When I get back to Port Authority, someone else gets my bag for me while the driver sits and watches AGAIN.
7. Taxi TV, advertising new Broadway shows and everything else.
8. Fear of bedbugs, which are still, as they say in the city, available.
9. People talking to you at the drop of a hat, passionately, impassioned. People ignoring you completely.
10. Hiding in plain sight; a river of faces, bodies, foods, boots, car horns, drivers, all divided by concrete and Central Park. Welcome to the Apple. Welcome everyone.
Grand Central Zodiac: Ana Paula Hirama