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Dispatches from New York: The Streets of the Town

Another entry in the series in which a lifelong Miamian tries to deal with a place where there are no palm trees. Read more here. Or don’t, it’s cool.

The streets of the town were quickly painted brown (after previous colors had faded) but the sky was left the color of the water used to clean the brushes.  Almost as soon as the paint had dried the sweetsweepers came and rubbed it all off, leaving nothing but the gray of the asphalt. Even as I finish writing this a new coat of paint is being mixed.

The corner of my street is now a piny gauntlet of christmas trees for sale. I enjoy the smell every time I go to the grocery and wonder how the neighbors feel about the electrical generator going on all night.  Myself I sleep like a chilly brick, woken up only occasionally by the trucks that start as early as 4 AM in this almost-post-industrial neighborhood.

Today it’s warm and rainy, both relative. Rainy here means a heavy drizzle as opposed to a downpour and warm is 55 rather than 88, which when you’re soaked isn’t warm at all.  Warm tends to be hard to find and harder to keep..

The weather is getting to people, myself included. I start to wonder about my Vitamin D intake and whether S.A.D. is a real thing or made up, like restless leg syndrome. When bored at my desk I start writing a ridiculous poem for a depressed coworker:

You may cry on the pier while your love sails into gloom
You can frown as another takes off with your groom
You can, if you must, weep on the side of Mount Doom
or while a witch steals your lunch and escapes on her broom
But never, under no circumstance are you allowed to mope
whilst standing in the copy room.

Weather aside though, things are lovely.  This past Saturday I went to a party hosted by the beautiful and talented fellow former Miamian Ivylise.  When I departed, it was 4 AM, raining, and I had a 25 minute walk to the train with my sole protection being an umbrella I had somehow had the foresight to pack. On the way, I was stumbled upon by someone walking alone without an umbrella, much less a hat or a decent jacket. In retrospect, I don’t know how either of us talked our hosts into letting us leave, but here we were, beating soggy streets without mercy but for one another.  

I never know how to react to strangers on the sidewalk at night, especially when they are out of my line of sight. Not unlike bears, they are likely as scared of me as I am of them.  I heard a nervous jingle of keys and wondered if my companion thought me a threat.  

There wasn’t any extensive discussion as she eased up to my right and decided I seemed normal enough to approach – just shy mutual assent as she huddled next to me and honest laughter when I mentioned I thought she was going to stab my eye out with her keys and take my umbrella.  

She grew up in Pembroke Pines, of all places. I walked her to her door through the rain and the casual smiling conversation. On parting she passed me her card. I told her goodnight and walked the remainder of the way back to the train on numb wet feet, thumbing the card and thinking to myself “only in Brooklyn.”



is there a “like” button for this? :) nice one john, I enjoyed it. Plus, you must be a real hit at work! Cheering the ladies up with poetry….gee whiz….how chivalrous!

— -nico · Dec 14, 10:36 PM · #

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