On Saturdays, my preferred way to get to the studio is the 7 train, but on weekends this late winter/early spring, it’s been out for maintenance work. So, for exercise, I’ve been walking a mile (20 blocks) up Park Avenue and then block or two to the east, to get the E train at 53rd Street.
Today is crisp, with brilliant sun streaking in from the east down the streets and glittering between the high buildings. So I walk north through my Murray Hill neighborhood – semi-elegant prewar apartment buildings lining the broad avenue. Wander through Grand Central, marveling at the glorious space created by the huge vaulted ceiling. You never get used to it. Slip a glance over to the cool Apple store on the mezzanine. At 45th Street cut through a block-long interior passageway and pop out on a bright and open Park Avenue. It’s a Saturday…no business people – quiet and beautiful. Looking up, a lot of sky, sunlit canyons, and a profusion of man-made patterns – windows, a multitude of floors, vast shining facades, towering edifices. Many of these huge glass monuments to industry have big open plazas (a zoning code so they can build higher). Walk a few steps up to a couple of the plazas, to feel the space. Some have cool public sculptures, and even fountains. Pass the Waldorf Astoria…sleepy tourists wander out blinking in the bright sun. Beyond, there’s a guy leading an Ayn Rand tour…captains of industry theme, I guess. Further up, on St Bart’s church grounds there’s a permanent white tent with a cafe. At 53rd Street I cut across a plaza with two pools with bubbling fountains. East to the shiny Citycorps building.
I think: there is someone waking up west of here, in Idaho or Montana, maybe an artist like me, walking out into the brilliant sunlight, seeing their own world of high pristine monumental structures, gleaming.
At Citicorps, I go down the escalator, into the bowels of the city, to the E train.