What a day. I have never been as in love with New York as I am right now. It’s my third visit in three years, but today won’t be topped.
It started with a walk through the NYU campus on West 4th Street and into the magical Washington Square Park. A park packed with locals, tourists, squirrels, dogs, wiry trees, chess masters and a grand arch. You can sit there and take it all in for hours on end, being at complete peace with the world.
Continue on West 4th Street and the West Village awaits. Walking through the West Village and its tiny, exquisite cafes, zig-zaggy staircased apartments and archway of blossoming trees made me want to live there instantly.
Up Hudson Street and 9th Avenue, turning onto 22nd and walking down a little too far, where it suddenly turned art gallery central, with a row a block long on either side. Then back to 23rd and up the elevator to High Line Park.
You know, the day was already pretty damn good, but then it got better. High Line Park is steeped in a remarkable history and is a man-made marvel from which nature has taken over in the best possible way.
It really is a work of art, a pleasure to walk up and down [or sit, in the abundance of chairs and benches], and a chance to take in a unique view of this wonderful city. There’s couples in love, snap-happy tourists and plenty lying back on the deck chairs with a book in hand.
I’m writing all this while sitting on one of those said deck chairs in the park in the sky. Some gorgeous creature came up to me just now and asked if I was Simon. She met him online, but the photo was so blurry that she couldn’t be sure. Then a hipster walked towards us carrying flowers, and she looked on nervously, but he walked on by. Simon came by five minutes later in a flashy suit and sheepish smile, shouting “can’t miss that red hair!” with a thick Jersey accent. Ah, Simon, you lucky devil.
30 minutes have gone by and the poor hipster is still waiting, head buried in his phone, his hopes and flowers wilting away
An hour later, and she finally arrives! I wasn’t being a creep and waiting to see how it played out; I was just writing other parts of this, but I can now leave feeling content.
One day I’ll come back here and walk this same path. It’ll be just as special.
Back to the present, and after getting to see Wicked, the musical I obsessively listen to every week, sitting front and centre at the Gerswhin Theatre, I can safely say that this has indeed been a most memorable day.