samedi 21 août 2010

Capturing the Moment

It’s 9:59 AM local time (+5 = GMT). One minute before, one minute after 10:00 AM or 3:00 PM GMT  ­­­­­̶ depending on your preferences and location ­­­­­̶  , doesn’t make much of a difference to stop thinking about other things and sharing a moment of our time with Sophie and our dear comrades. I don’t have to be in any specific place to “capture the moment”. Liberating my thoughts from the restraints of my head and putting them down in this little notebook is all that I need to do specially if I get some red lights. They really help on this kind of situations.

What about the red lights? Very easy! Since I’m driving and heading Downtown via Broadway, I don’t hate them (I rarely use the word hate), au contraire, I like when the green/yellow turns red. It helps free my hands from the steering wheel and allows me to grab a pen and write very rapidly tiny notations of where I am, amongst other things. Let’s say that right now I’m at the intersection of Broadway and West 110th Street. But not for long.
In the meantime I’m listening to WQXR, the classical music radio station of NYC. They’re airing “Some enchanting evening” an excellent piece from the musical play South Pacific.

You can see on top what a nice place to drive is Manhattan on a Saturday morning. Yeah, everybody must be sleeping the Friday hangover and the city doesn’t look crazy at all, even though at 89 St. & Broadway is not known for being the worst spot to get into a traffic jam.

I turn right to take Columbus Ave., because even if it’s early, one should avoid the theater district that it’s further down Broadway where theaters are just only a few of the many attractions in the area that includes Times Square at 42nd St (madness) and extends various blocks on both sides of this very important avenue.
Columbus becomes 9th Avenue at 59th St. I think this is a nice place to park. Looks perfect at the corner of 58 and 9. Oh!, music of Turandot now on the radio: the Overture and March but I have to cut it off because I have to go and buy some parking time units for street parking at a rate of 12 minutes for 50 cents. You do the math. One hour should be enough?!

There are places here at this corner where I could go in but I don’t like them. Let’s have a walk to see what we can find. One of the things about NY (meaning downtown Manhattan) is that walking around is a real pleasure for the senses and this morning looks specially attractive with no crowds, nice weather (75°) and everything quiet: nothing is out of control. Not having a plan could be the best plan of all sometimes. Let life happen to me without preset schemes or limits on the horizon!

It’s 10:20 AM. Remember to add five if you want GMT or 6 if you want the time in Paris. I’m going East of 57th Street and right in the middle between avenues 9 and 8 I discover the ‘Istanbul Cafe’.
This is the place! Take a look at how it looks. Too early for people to come here, I imagine, but it’s exactly what I’m looking for. What a contrast with these colors: very nice to the eyes! I don’t have to think it twice and I’m going to seat at one corner. I like corners.  It’s the best way to see everything in perspective. In a few minutes a man with a strange accent approaches me. He’s the waiter. He sees my phone and gets excited. Immediately he starts talking/praising the phone without asking me first what do I want.  
- Did you download the new app to see videos?  Blah blah blah! About the strange accent, well, it seems that nobody is from here. Everybody comes from somewhere else. Another state (the United States), another country, another planet. Seriously, you encounter people so weird, so bizarre that you never know where do they really come from.
I ask for the menu but I want suggestions: Turkish coffee? ; Turkish tea? OK, let’s try the Turkish tea. He says it's very good and ...indeed it’s nothing but a delicious truth. Let’s take a look at the menu.
I brought with me a book. If I’m not working, in my spare time I like to have a book in my hands. It gives me some kind of comfort. It’s a habit that still remains in me for when I was a good reader. Having one within reach doesn’t mean that I’m going to read but it makes me feel good to think I can because I have one on hand. Like money on your pockets. It feels good to have some even though that doesn’t mean you’re going or you want to spend it. And probably works as a charm, it works as son kind of amulet. Today my amulet is ‘Assorted Poems’ of Susan Wheeler.

From the menu I choose a mix Panini (russian salad, pepperoni and cheese). With that I can survive the rest of my morning and more.
Wow! It’s so peaceful here, I don’t want to leave right now. What a nuisance when our lives, our desires are at odds with those mundane regulations. I want to stay longer here and I can’t because I left my car behind and if I don’t buy more time it’s almost sure I’d pay a hefty price. The art of predicting is real hard! And predicting feelings is a much harder thing to do. Had I known I was going to feel this good in this place I’d have bought more time for sure... Well, next time! But before leaving let's see how is inside (there's a back door that connects to an interior patio, as well):
For now let’s enjoy this mouth watering panini..., that is full of flavors from, let me guess: Turkey?, Russia? Italy? No, NY?...Oh, it doesn’t matter. As long as it tastes good nothing else really ....

2 commentaires:

  1. I was there by your side.
    Don't loose your pencil !

  2. Thanks Eric for the company. Sophie will send me another one in case I lose it (I just try the difficult task to match her)