As I daydream about perhaps working in the city again...I'm suddenly jolted by my memories of working and commuting to the city from Brooklyn to the Broadway studios of WOR-TV in the heart of Times Square, way back when. Granted, in those days, Times Square was a different world; a fishbowl of seediness and sleaze, dotted with peep shows, vendors hawking “Rollex” watches, and shady individuals. The studio was sandwiched between a porn theatre and a popcorn shop selling multi-flavored popcorn, of which I would indulge in frequently. Gough’s bar was around the corner, a Mom and Pop Irish bar, where everyone knew your name and your drink; a favorite watering hole after the News at Noon.
In the wake of the Times Square bomb scare, I happened upon photographs of folks sitting in lawn chairs, smack in the middle of Broadway, enjoying the weather. Times Square has turned into an outdoor mall-an anomaly in the middle of a hectic world of taxi cabs, pushcart vendors and tourists. What’s next? Lawn bowling? I used to fear walking to Penn Station alone at night, holding my bag tightly, and doing the New Yawk walk- long hurried strides and no eye contact. That is actually the best way today to navigate a crowded street in Manhattan. Walk briskly and look straight ahead. You will avoid bumping into people and make it from 32nd street to 42nd Street in 10 minutes, at rush hour! Walk and gawk- that’s what the city’s about. If you want to sit, try Central Park.
No, lawn chairs belong right here in suburbia...placed directly onto pesticided, exceedingly green, weedless, perfectly manicured lawns. No trouble walking down these sidewalk-less streets, where nobody knows your name, much less if you even live on the block! Wait a minute, did I just say walk? I meant get in my car. Ahh, back to my urban longings.