A day in The City

I've written paeanic tributes to NY before, but truly, it is magnificent. With the possible exception of Paris (a spectacular city I've had the good fortune to visit twice), there is no place on Earth where I feel the deep energy I do in Manhattan. As soon as I near its threshold, a powerful rush of dynamism starts to pulse within me. The promise of time spent there is a weighty pebble dropped into my core: undulations of excitement, energy, utter aliveness ripple powerfully out; concentric, visceral waves of "anything can happen, anything is possible here." New York is so incomparably vital. The cacophonous symphony of taxi horns, worldly languages, feet pounding the pavement, ambulances whizzing by, music, vendors, emotive conversations, neon signs, larger-than-life ads, delivery men weaving bikes in and around pedestrians and buses, the hum of AC window units, construction conducted from giant scaffolds, the random drip-drops of water that always fly from above...it all sings brilliantly in unison (much of the time).

Fat, Barbie, old, young, wheelchair-bound, dressed to the nines, barely dressed at all, infinitely local, totally foreign, transgender, straight, player, gay, country came to town, unbelievably hip, shockingly not so, loud, meek, tatted out, wearing hijab, homeless, loaded, smoker, vegan, atheist, evangelical, filthy, spotless. And everything in between. Often within a block or two.

Today was restorative in a perfectly exhausting way. I don't remember the last time I did something like this. Travel has been a breeze, the weather was glorious, my dear pal Mike treated me to a wonderful lunch at Esca (part of the Batali-Bastianich dynasty), my last-minute seat at the theater was terrific.

Lucky Guy boasted a wonderful cast -Tom Hanks, Courtney B. Vance, Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore), Peter Gerety (you'd recognize him), Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire), Maura Tierney- and I thought of and missed Nora Ephron the whole time. Hanks' role was one of those that must be absolutely exhausting to do: he's rarely off-stage and his character (the aggressive, voluble Irish-America journalist Mike McAlary) runs through a huge range of energy and emotion; he was wonderful. The cast seemed to share a great bond; perhaps they all loved, admired and miss Nora too.

Lucky me is more like it! And you should see the sunset I spy from my train window.