Monday, December 23, 2013

Flood Lights

I stood at the east end of the rink, watching the Zamboni man smooth over the ice, while I said my good byes to the city. 

I knew I should already be on my way back to Harlem to finish packing, but Bryant Park insisted I stick around for a bit to experience the magic of New York at its holiday best.

So rather than heading straight to the subway, I lingered for some time, weaving in and out of the pop up shops, without any other agenda than just to soak it all in.  I paused in front of the fountain, recalling the time I met my favorite author in that same spot.  I remember thinking then - how appropriate to meet a man of literature near the New York Public Library, while he thought ice skating rink... The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, and some girl named Sally.

But on my final evening in NYC, rather than a New York Times best-selling author, a dozen carolers greeted me at the fountain with yuletide cheer.  As I listened some to their singing, I purchased a cup of hot apple cider - complete with cinnamon stick - to accompany me in my wandering.

Bryant Park Fountain * Pic from November 2012

Just beyond the fountain, I passed by a pub called The Southwest Porch.  Although outdoors, the place was full - half the pub alive in conversation while the other half engaged in a holiday film.  No one seemed to mind the chill in the air.  And actually, I didn't either.

In peeking inside the various shops, I stumbled across a glorious art display.  The pieces were for sale, of course, but I didn't bother to look at the price tag.  I knew my unemployment check wouldn't be able to afford such beauty.  Still, I picked up a business card and told the artist (Yvoni) that I thought her work was absolutely stunning.  (You can view her online gallery by clicking on her name.)

Eventually I found myself standing beside the Christmas tree, glaring out at the rink in some sort of trance as my eyes followed the Zamboni, back and forth across the ice, as my heart questioned, "God, is this my final farewell, or will I eventually be back - for more than a visit? Will this city ever be my home again?" 

Continue reading at the following link: Flood Lights Part II

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