Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Having a nice day

Every person in every store I visit (with the notable exception of Victoria's Secret) wants me to have a nice day. It's a humble and surprisingly effective wish. I feel good that I've bought something from them and I feel good when I leave. I wonder how long you'd have to live in New York before you grow deaf to people wishing you a nice day.

Today we went to the Body Exhibition. One of the warning signs of New York tourists is that we can never tell where we are when we walk out of the subway and today was no exception. We walked out at Fulton Street, squinting at our map book and found ourselves at the Trinity Church, a quaint little chapel with tiny and respectfully maintained cemetery. A small plaque at the gate told us all the calamities the church had survived, including the terrorist attacks of 2001. And then we looked up and saw cranes and scaffolding but more than anything an overwhelming absence, a huge gape in the beautiful early Spring sky where the towers had once been.

Life goes on in this enormous city. We took ourselves down to the Body Exhibition to see the arteries and learn what chyme is. I also became more adoring of livers. My love of the heart is well documented but it is the liver that earns my true admiration. It works so hard and features rarely in poetry or noted works of art.

We had lunch at a diner with the handy name The Diner. I ordered a spaghetti marinara and was served a plate that would have comfortably fed a family of four.

Later we took a subway jammed rigid with the end-of-day workers down to 86th Street. Two very notable things happened to me there: I met Clive, who lives in a Dog Boutique, and I bought a vintage Hermes skirt in exquisite condition. After this I wafted in a euphoric vapour down to Central Park to watch the dusk turn into night while I slurped a diet Snapple.

Oh, New York. I love you with all my liver.

And in case you can't picture such a thing, here is Clive:

What the world would be like if you reduced it to stock

It is truly the most diverse & fascinating of cities. New York's devils are in its details - the bridges, in the diners, in the carriages on the subway, the little dogs, the cast iron cat I bought at a flea market.