United Airlines sent me a note in May that my frequent flyer miles were going to go away if I didn’t book something with them before the end of June. So I thought, ‘heck, i haven’t been to NY since mom passed away, i should visit my brothers and see what’s going on back east.’ 

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One of my friends was available and I had the time to visit yesterday. So on September 11, 2010, I took the train from Westchester down into Manhattan. The significance of the date was not lost on me. 

New York City is, indeed, a living organism. There wasn’t a lot of time, I had another engagement on my calendar in the evening. I  rode the Harlem Line down to Grand Central and feeling the heat as I exited the train brought back vivid memories of growing up in and around this place. 

The City in Summer is always about sweat. It’s always about movement, constant movement, the sound of so much going on resonating and colliding in the hot, damp air. Riding the subway, mid-day on a Saturday, it is jammed as if in rush-hour in any other city. I didn’t really remember the path to my friend’s place on 7th and First: I felt my way there riding the subways after a cursory glance at the map, and walked when I got off nearby. 

The street is New York. Every block, every neighborhood full of people talking, eating, buying, selling, sitting, laughing, crying, running, walking. All different ages, all different kinds. It is exhilarating. Buzz about the Towers. Buzz about the mosque, about politics, about what’s good and what sucks. I talked with a woman on the subway platform, jammed and jostled with passengers in the cars screeching through their tunnels underground, enjoyed an ice cream cone while watching a woman and her two youngsters doing the same. There’s enough to keep your ears and eyes full no matter where you turn. 

So glad I made it here at this time. 
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