Isn’t this the perfect spot to spend time reviewing 2e group verbs (made even more perfect by the three French people sat to my right)? We had ideal weather here today, with very few clouds in the sky; though it was near 30 degrees, there was enough breeze to keep the heat at bay.
Popsi had to get to Long Island so we separated for our day’s start. I made my way down to Tribeca and had my favourite bagel and lox – Zucker’s. They have never disappointed, and today was no different.
I spent an hour walking Tribeca proper, as it used to be my favourite neighbourhood (before, it had a far more authentic feel, true to its meat packing roots, especially in architecture). Having had enough of all of its new architecture, I made my way down to the water with coffee in one hand and French books in the other. After my studies were completed, I spent another hour walking along the river line in search of Billy Joel. I did not find him.
From here, I met Popsi and Megan for coffee and great conversation before an eventual hour walk to meet Ali and Arlette for an Indian / Pakistani street-food inspired dinner that was over the top with flavour. Last I saw Ali, we had Afghan cuisine also here in NYC, and he was waiting behind a telephone booth to greet me. It was one of the funniest and (self-admittedly) creepiest moments of that trip to NY. We continued with the creepy vibe by then going to spy on Arlette while she was working, but didn’t go in to say hello. Today I had the pleasure of meeting her, and she is exactly as I’d imagined, and then some. On top of which, she gives the absolute best hugs. She’s presently shifting gears and is in culinary school making all of the amazing baked goods. I can’t wait to come back and feast on her sweets – from everything Ali ever said about Arlette, and from what I saw myself tonight, she will excel at all to which she puts her mind.
From them, I went on to once more connect with Poppy, Megan, and Megan’s husband Jon, who had finished their dinner after my two hour walk to reach them.
A special note regarding Megan, whom, though we are connected on Instagram and share many common friends, I met for only the first time today. Some years ago, I fell in love with her short animation film titled Unlaced, and discovered we had mutual friends and so I asked for a connection. Her paper art projects remind me of my beloved Rob Ryan, making it impossible not to fall in love.
You know how they say Don’t meet your heroines? Lucky for me, in the case of Megan, it was bullshit.
Both of these women – Megan and Arlette – newly introduced into my life today were so easy to connect to, it felt like I’d known them for years. I believe it helps that they are both so intelligent, and exceptionally creative.
We wrapped our night by walking home nearly 2.5 hours, at which point certainly Poppy and me both became delerious with exhaustion, falling through the front door and straight to our rooms.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. Everyone living and grinding in this City – especially those of you making minimum wage, and with multiple jobs. Make no mistake that the only reason this city is great is because of you. You did good with your fight for a minimum wage of $15 per hour; I hope it continues to improve.
2. The Bangladeshi gentleman running the pharmacy at E 70th and 1st Ave. When I went in to make a purchase, he asked me where I was from originally. I said Palestine, and he responded by telling me his origins and how proud he was of his deen. When I said I too shared this pride, we greeted one another with proper salaams. He reminded me of so many of the grandpas I know and I will return tomorrow to say salaam. He’s just lovely.
3. Blisters on my feet. Because they mean that I am mobile and performing my favourite activity (walking) for insane amounts of time. Though…though maybe near eight hours may have proven to be my breaking point.
New York | Day 272 | August 29, 2019