January 31, 2008
A city is quietest in the early morning. When I took my morning walk yesterday, the only people I saw were rushing off to the subway to get to work. By the time I reached the little park near Mansion Where the Mayor Would Live If He Wasn't Filthy Rich, a misty rain was falling. The little playground, with its bright red metal jungle gym, was empty. The swings dangled from chains above puddles of water. On one of the small lawns, a young man was practicing tai chi. The little tables with the chessboards painted on them were empty, the black and white squares glistening with rainwater. A woman strode by with a dog, and one runner came through, listening to his iPod as he went by.
The little park runs along Tidal Strait That Everyone Calls a River, famous mostly as the place where mobsters in movies dump dead bodies. As I stood at the railing, I could hear the water surging past below me, mixing with the hum of traffic and other city noises. I could just picture all the commuters coming over the bridges, hurrying to work. So many of my mental images of the city come not from mobster movies, but from my favorite children's books, so I was not surprised to see a cheerful tugboat moving along happily on the river, excited to be seeing the world at last.
Posted by jo(e)