January 10, 2011
From the top
Usually when I’m in the city, I’m with Urban Sophisticate Sister or my parents, and they try to stay away from the tourist attractions. But Shaggy Hair Boy was quite willing to wander around and see the parts of the city that he knew from movies, television shows, and even computer games. Pretty much everywhere we went, he would start talking about a scene from a movie. When we were in the public library, for example, he said, “I’ve seen this place before! Except in the movie, it’s flooded and there are wolves and a big freighter outside.” Most of the movies he mentioned were disaster movies, although sometimes there were superheros who arrived in the nick of time to save the city.
When he and I were on our own one afternoon, he said, “Let’s go to the top of the Empire State Building.”
We had to stand in line and then jam into a hot, crowded elevator. “This is why we never do tourist stuff,” I grumbled to him. I hate elevators. But then we got to the observation deck.
A cold wind came rushing at us. We were on a dark balcony, with guard rails all around. People were running about, pushing their way to the railing, posing with their friends, and the dashing back into the building to get warm. Cameras kept flashing. It was exciting to look down on skyscrapers, the lights making patterns in every direction. I could make out the bridges and water: I’d forgotten, I think, that we were on an island.
“Look! The skating rink!” Shaggy Hair Boy said. He nudged me. I could see it, a tiny white rectangle far below us. I could just barely see little dots of dark moving around on it.
We walked around to get the view from every angle. It was dark and cold, and the wind went right through my winter coat. Everyone was screaming and laughing and snapping pictures like crazy. When I’d stand closer to the edge of the rail and look down, I could feel that tingling, scared feeling in my stomach. It was so much fun.
Posted by jo(e)