East side, west side,
All around the town,
The tots sang "Ring-a-Rosie,"
"London Bridge is Falling Down."
Boys and girls together,
Me and Mamie O'Rourke,
Tripped the light fantastic,
On the sidewalks of New York.
-Old NYC song

"We were very tired, we were very merry
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry...
-Edna St. Vincent Millay


A train, C train, D train,
  Broadway line, 8th avenue,
      6th Avenue, the Lex,
  red light, green light,
               Don't Walk, Walk,
MoMA, the Met, the Village,
             Chinatown, Little Italy,
   Zoo time, pizza time, falafel
      time, Central Park promenading time,
           Empire State perching time
Pale Male watching time (so what did he and Lola
      make of us?), essential "where-the-hell-
                     are we? time, show time, Ground Zero
           our hearts-are-in-that-hole
                        time, and of course the
       "we got a ticket to ride
time (oh, Imagine!), wandering
     the streets of New York City, wandering
                      into St. Patrick's Easter service
           resurrection, wandering though West-Side
                     Passover exodus in search of a Promised  
                             Land not called the
      Hard Rock Cafe, 10 pm, Sunday, the endless
              walking, the pavement rolling out
beneath us, as much as we needed, past
        Picasso, Braque, Monet, Munch,
     past giant meteors (trying desperately            
                     to contain our own gravitational fields),
        past dinosaurs, past mummies,
           past grizzlies, past diorama moonlit wolves
                   running through the
                              dreams of one little boy from
                       the Bronx,
             all happening here under Grand
                 Central's big sky, sliding through harbor
           darkness toward Staten Island's mystic
       slip, the Brookline Bridge, the George Washington,
              decked out in their diamond
       strands, the city of dreams ablaze
               before us, dreaming of
     the right subway stops, of weather like this
                   forever, of nipple piercings
          (apparently), of sofas appearing like
    visions on naked SoHo streets, here the city that  
            never sleeps, here two sleepless floors
                          in the 57th Street-Midtown
                      Holiday Inn, and then it was over,
                 hungry, tired, thirsty, sitting
             on a bus speeding us home, sleeping,
                             talking, worrying, but there
                     would be no Rein's Deli for these weary
                              pilgrims, no corned beef with a side
                         of potato salad and sour pickle,
                    only an exhausted driver fighting to
                             stay awake, and mostly succeeding,
                                   before we arrived to depart
                       back to our lives.


April 16-20, 2006

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter