Saturday, September 1, 2012

Positively Fourth Street, Always.

Fourth Street. Start on Avenue C. Losaida. Walk all the way from Avenue C to West 4th. Recalling every in and out, every short cut through a garden. Past my first apartment with no lock where I made my best friends, and Perbacco--  the best Italian restaurant in New York. Past the housing project where we watched that man look up at the sun and then die. Watching a group of friends help each other move a mattress. Remembering when my friends helped me carry my things west from 4th & B to 4th & 2nd, which burned down, but has now been rebuilt. 

Some things, I remember the old: the new bar, Dorian Gray, that once used to be the tribal jewelry store (no surprise that disappeared) and others, I only remember used to be something else. Some place else I never frequented. 

The same guys still work in the bodega. Belcourt looks exactly the same and I bet still serves amazing Bloody Marys, but it's called Caliope now. Past what was once Cuppa Cuppa, where a mean middle aged New York lady named Jenny eventually became my friend after about a year of me wearing her down with smiles when I bought my iced-coffee everyday. (Just proving every hardened New Yorker still wants a friend.) I wonder if the FAB center bought her out, or if she had to close anyhow. I hope she's happy and retired somewhere and not lonely. 

Past all the places along 4th and Washington Square Park where Steven and I dumped pieces of our set after VOTE! at Minetta Lane closed. We were so stealth. We didn't want to get arrested. We were high on margaritas. We had crowbars. It was one of the funnest nights ever. Who doesn't like being in league with someone? Being part of a low-stakes conspiracy? 

I'm in league with New York City. She's like my big sister who keeps my secrets from our parents. 

New York, in many ways,  is like that older sister. She taught you everything you know, She's cooler than you, She often pretends to be indifferent to you, or even annoyed by your presence, but actually, she loves you. And you love her. I may not always choose to live here in New York City, choose to live my life the way she does, but I'll always love her, conspire with her and look up to her best. 

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