So if you have to move back here after a long and spiritually disenfranchised time away, in some of the great cities of the world, (Paris, Rome, London, Venice, Seminyak(HUH?) and arguably one of the worst, at least in the opinion of those who are judgmental-- Beverly Hills--Autumn is the best time to return to New York. Besides that it is one of our best standards, the composer notwithstanding-- Vernon Duke--it is a picturesque Fairy Tale of images: the leaves in Central Park changing with a quiet, palpable ferocity into what is, in my opinion, the best colors we have, the oppressive heat of summer left behind, people's natures softening with the season, there is the Marathon, something like a Flag of All Nations for the legs. Friday night as I made my way to Whole Foods in the Time Warner building on Columbus Circle, there was a burst of such spectacular pageantry over Central Park as would outdo the fireworks at the Biennale in Venice, and the biggest show-off events(which is all there are) in Cannes. I, having spent my whole life trying to learn not to take things personally, decided to take this personally indeed, an argument for my having returned to live in this city I have never really loved since I graduated from PS9 on West End Avenue, where I experienced the first of what it was to be under the wing of a great educator, now a school for "special children," not in the happiest sense.
But there they were, high in the sky, fireworks to welcome me, to assure me I had made the right decision, moving back here. So I sat down on a fire hydrant, not the most comfortable of perches for a woman, and enjoyed-- celebrated, really, with my eyes. After all, if they were going to all this trouble...
It lasted for a good and spectacular time. People mused, passing by, at the possible reason for such a display-- "It's November," one young man said. Finally a youngish, pretty and sad woman of my acquaintance, who I would guess is having relationship problems judging from the sorrow around her eyes, told me it was for the Marathon, which I had all but forgotten was this weekend. From Columbus Circle I went up Broadway, and in the next day and a half went to two movies, (one example of the unsung wonders of this city--there they are, everywhere and accessible) one film tedious and endless in spite of its eroticism(Blue is the Warmest Color, you have to wonder about A.O, Scott AND the Cannes Film Festival), one magnificent, but non-stop painful, so you have to admire Brad Pitt, a bit player, producer and one supposes, rightly, its main engine. Still agonizing to consider this ever happened in this country, that we as humans could have treated other humans like that, although it helps you understand how there could be a Ted Cruz.
Then Voila! It's Sunday.
And here everybody is, and just try to get anywhere. Everything blocked off and crazy, and just to make your way to the other side of town is an achievement. But over Sheep's Meadow and into the woods, NOT to Grandmother's House we go. This year some of the patrols wear jackets marked CounterTerrorism, and that's as disturbing as it seems to me unintelligent. But oh, well.
I finally arrive at Bar Bouloud on Broadway, a more than pleasant restaurant I have targeted as the rendezvous for the beautiful Danish family I connected with a year and a half ago when they were a little lost in the address sense, and I in the personal one, and we became friends. I noted at the time You Can Always Make a Friend in New York, as long as they are from Someplace Else. They had the most beautiful child I had ever seen, and have since augmented that by one. Now the grandparents, both doctors in Denmark, are here for another visit. Interesting to hear that things in Denmark, like everywhere else in the world, are not as good, but they still take care of their own.
Then it's time to try and return to where I live. Sidewalks jammed, streets roped off, another struggle. I have no choice but to stop into a shop and buy (on SALE, of course) an over-the-top top that I can wear if Rex Reed ever invites me anywhere.
Finally there's an open street, and I can get home.
But is it? We shall see.