I think I’ve learned something useful this week. I had been planning on attending a one-day conference on Monday, but I got too busy and decided I’d better head into the office instead. I never took the conference off my calendar, however, so no one scheduled me for any meetings. I got a whole week’s worth of work done on Monday. Today two out of my three meetings got cancelled. I got another week’s worth of work done today. I’m thinking that I should block off my calendar every Monday.
My commute to work is really starting to feel like a routine, but in the best possible way. I look forward to seeing the two boys meet each other at the corner of 5th Avenue and 15th street on their scooters to head to school together. I count the people practicing Falun Gong in Madison Square Park. I notice when the tiny Asian man is not doing his calisthenics on the park bench by the fancy insurance building with the caryatids. I watch the car service drivers shake out the their floormats and the shopkeepers hose down their curbs. It’s like watching the city yawn and stretch every morning. The patterns of repetition somehow add to the sense that we are all part of this living, breathing organic thing that is New York.
After work today, I met my friend S, as I try to do every week, and we walked to a vegan restaurant on Park Avenue for dinner. It was amazingly delicious — or maybe I was just amazingly hungry, as I missed lunch today — and I was glad for a two mile stomp home in my heavy boots. At 8:30 at night in my small town, I can walk to the river and back — about the same distance as the trip home from my office — and not see a single soul. But at 8:30 at night, the streets are packed. I practice my urban bob and weave technique. I triangulate the distances to avoid running into pedestrians barreling down side streets. Walking home at 8:30 here is like walking home at 6:30 in Chicago. Why are there so many buildings if no one is ever in them?