Friday, July 11, 2014

ESE on the Road, 7

New York City is one of the most existential places I've encountered.

I mean that by strictest definition.  


The reason I say this because I caught myself pondering death.

Before you revolt, I am doing better.  The beast has retreated somewhat in deference to playing with its shiny "I love NY" toy.  What I mean is how much I've caught myself thinking about death in the following ways:

-On Sunday I will visit Strawberry Fields and the Dakota in memory of John Lennon.

-Lou Reed was synonymous with New York City and I wrote extensively about his passing.  I loved his music and I can't see a single thing here and not think of him.  I still can't believe he's gone.

-I went to the 9/11 Memorial.  Regardless of your political or conspiracy beliefs, thousands of people lost their lives on this spot.

Nothing erases that fact.  It's impossible not to be moved by the rows of names and even flowers left behind.

This church is where many of the dead and wounded were brought on that day.

I walked past a fire station.  Saw this on the wall.

While all of this is tragic enough, I can't forget that the loss is compounded by thousands of innocent women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And as Poe's raven, so this pigeon in a cemetery mere blocks from Ground Zero.

Things we try to hold on to just keep disappearing no matter how hard we wish it otherwise.  Through our own faults or...more maddingly...through no fault of our own, they fall to entropy and diffluence.  It's fucked up.

And yet...

And yet...

This city is full of the creative spirit.  It is a place of art with electricity surging at all hours through the cultural zeitgeist.

Here a street artist works his canvas.

I don't know what this building is but the mural alone was worth stopping for.

Forbidden Planet sends your purchases home in the coolest bags with the latest in fembot stylings.

This was on the subway.  

So was this.  Looked like someone riffing on Orwell.

The fresh seafood market in Chinatown made me wish I had access to a kitchen. Been a while since I've made shrimp scampi or lobster bisque with real fresh ingredients.

This is from the Algonquin Hotel.  If you're a writer, reader, or literary devotee of any type, you'll know this is the site of the famous Algonquin Roundtable.  Writers and artists such as William Faulkner, Robert Benchley, and most notably Dorothy Parker traded wit and illumination.  And booze.  Lots of booze.

I even had a Dorothy Parker martini.

Everywhere you look, something is being created or was a landmark of creation.  

The summation of existence.  Two ends of time neatly tied in a circle.

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