“But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown.”

“But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown.”

Sometimes I go to… New York.  And, despite our long history, I treat it like someone new–like how you are at the start of a relationship. I give it a new chance to win my heart (which, admittedly, I fork over and over and over thousands of times a day to a variety of natural and manmade phenomena).  And I’ll find places to eat while I wait to eat later with a friend.  This day, at Vita, an all-vegan eatery in Chelsea.

I get the Bean & Corn Burger, a fat, black patty of black bean with corn here and there like chocolate chips, along with the standard toppings on a pleasing potato roll. I make the dumb move I did at Terri a few weeks back and forget that not everyone has received the memo about not putting that packaged, processed vegan cheese garbage on fresh, delicious vegetables. I’m sorry. I’m not going to mince words about this stuff anymore. Get it off the menu!  Or make your own cheese. If I am paying $14 for a burger, it certainly merits it.  Phew, I feel better.

Otherwise, this burger has the right stuff. I’ve entered the burger into the new NYC Burger Showdown, which I will be continuing soon.  Though I started this second round of battles already, the brackets keep changing.  With new burgers popping up all the time, this is a good thing I guess. Vita’s contender is not set yet…

Spending the day on the all the way west side, I checked in on how the Hudson Yards are doing. This construction project is tremendous.  After normal construction hours, I thought it looked like a humungous Lego set that some intrepid child left for the dinner table.  

On this same day hours earlier there were two separate construction deaths by fall at different sites in Manhattan. One of the sites, where a man fell 29 floors to his death, was a non-union construction site.  The other was at a tower under construction a couple of blocks from my picture. 

Not that far away, New York’s Penn Station.  I came here within the torrent of rush hour in need of a Sprinkles cupcake to gift.  This area is mobbed with people, ebbing and flowing to typical office dweller work schedule.  It is fascinating, partly, in an Urban Psy 101 way. These mobs operate in robotic fashion, their regard for the humans around them diminished by quantity. Finite love.

But if you look up, you’ll see the boundaries of the coliseum and their flapping flags. And a flapping American flag is a gorgeous thing.  It can have you overlook flaws.  

And over your shoulder, always, is the Empire, reminding you of how it always had you, New York.  From when you were a child, seeing the graffiti subway cars, looking up at the arrays of window panes up the high rises to your youth in the bars you once dreamt you would drink–to now, a woven quilt of nostalgia pulled tight.  A complex love, like the best love, New York, I love you.