New York City in early April. Each day is its own season.
The snow is a different snow from winter's. The rain doesn't feel like spring. A few blossoms shiver on trees growing from the small squares of earth cut into the sidewalk.
Cold, but not that cold. Except in the shadows of the buildings. Or when the wind blows from the Hudson River. Women in short skirts and black stockings. Stocking caps. The British girls with their English voices.
Young teens in the hotel lobby. Girls from Utah in blue evening gowns. Yes, one says on the elevator, they performed at Carnegie Hall. Proving the old joke correct.
Tourists with foreign accents crowd the streets, walking by abandoned storefronts. Fish and giant pretzels at sidewalk stands. Hot nuts. Lunch at the Algonquin. 25 W. 45th St. Joseph Mitchell. The Gotham Book Mart.
Peter Hujar's photos at the Morgan. Peggy Lee. Susan Sontag. Young gay men, killed by Aids. Candy Darling on her deathbed. Tennessee Williams manuscripts. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Elizabeth Ashley.
Dutch master drawings. The crystal elevator. Cafe tables. The ladies who lunch.
New York public library. Rose reading room open again. Readers at tables, lit by lamps with silver shades. Down the hall, Shelley and his circle. Portraits from the days of Edith Wharton.
Revolution exhibit. Situationists. Bob Dylan. Herbert Marcuse.
Central Park. That day I saw Jackie Kennedy...The Strand's sidewalk kiosks.
The homeless in their blankets. Crayon messages scribbled on cardboard. Can you spare some change?
Village Vanguard. Feinstein's 54 Below. Carnegie Hall. Yankee Stadium.
Bebe Neuwirth. Renee Rosness. Steve Nelson. Andras Schiff. Aaron Judge.
The Yankees outfield, standing at attention in their pinstripes behind the pitchers mound during the national anthem. NY caps held to their hearts.
Young black woman, yelling in her New Yawk accent, "Hot chocolate, hot chocolate." Peanut bag tossed like a double-play ball.
Yankees fans, who know the game. Commentaries in Jimmy Breslin voices.
The New Haven train from Grand Central. Fog and rain. Connecticut towns, where once the great cartoonists lived. Ghostly trees. Cemeteries. South Norwalk station. Long Island Sound.
First Avenue from a certain apartment window. We spoke in the same way then, but who remembers where or when? Country music on the stereo.
The Chrysler Building from a Fifth Avenue office tower. New York Life. "That used to be the Pan Am building."
Back to Atlanta on a Delta plane. Azaleas and dogwoods in full bloom. The green lawns of home.