New York, 3. June 2007.

The rain had stopped. I walked around the Village, down Bleecker Street, looking at the buildings – mostly brick, full of architectural detail. I love walking through New York streets: there is so much to look at. I walked down into SoHo, zigzagging across the lattice of streets, watching people, looking at the buildings.

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The weather cleared for the next day, when I would be heading home; but not until the middle of the night: I had one last day of wandering. After another stack of pancakes at the Greek place – where they now greeted me like a long lost friend – I walked down York Avenue in the sunshine. I wasn’t really heading anywhere, letting myself be guided by what caught me attention.

And the first thing that caught my attention was the 59th Street bridge. I walked down to the East River, in the shadow of the bridge; back and forth, looking at the bridge reflected in the windows of tower blocks, and the shadow of the bridge falling across roofs.

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I then followed the broad canyon of 59th Street west. The sun shining from the east caught the buildings askew, highlighting the concrete details. I strolled west, south, west, finding myself back at the Rockefeller Center once more. The sky was different this time – deep blue.

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I carried on walking down 2nd Avenue, past 42nd Street and back onto Park Avenue. The siren of the Empire State was calling once more, glancing down over the roofs of the tenements onto the avenues.

I went back and was caught by the light on Grand Central, and then by the Chrysler Building once more. I went inside, something I had never done before. You can’t climb to the top of the Chrysler Building – there is no viewing platform lurking below the art deco curves and pinnacle; but the lobby is pretty fine – lots of maple and walnut. They knew what they were building, filling the lobby with wonderfully kitsch decorations.

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I headed back west, into Times Square. The Empire State was still towering over the Midtown buildings, lording it. The neon was bright despite the sunshine. The ads seemed to be mostly for technology brands – Yahoo!, Panasonic, Samsung, JVC.

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I caught the subway south and had lunch in Fanelli’s. It was friendly – everyone was chatting across the tables. It had a very egalitarian feel to it.

The sun lit up the SoHo streets. There are some beautiful buildings there: iron pillars, bright painted walls, and ubiquitous fire-escapes.


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…And then I flew home…


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