Tonight was the first time I properly walked from one end of Manhattan to the other in a single go. ‘Cept that I stupidly selected 15th Street for this inaugural endeavor and forgot how it gets all broken up and stuff, first at Union Square and then again at Stuyvesant Town. I got right confused with the latter, and I never actually made it to FDR. I guess I was thinking 15th Street ended at 1st Avenue. I totally failed.
Oh, well. I’ll go back.
On my westward walk back from what I thought was the dead end of 15th Street, I walked through Stuyvesant Square and stumbled upon Friends Seminary on 16th Street and Rutherford. This is notable because I met someone yesterday whose daughter is going to start attending Friends in the fall. Isn’t that interesting? I had never heard of the “seminary” prior to meeting this girl’s father, and there are only 754 students in the entire school (K-12), and I just happened to meet one of them exactly 29 hours before accidentally stumbling across the fine institution?
Yeah, yeah, I know, it doesn’t seem like a very big deal to you. But, these things always mean something to me. Or else I’m always trying to make them mean something. Like when I bumped into an old friend in a karaoke bar 800 miles away from his home and 8 years since I’d last seen him. (That’s fucking crazy!) I am now desperately in love with him and far more open to the idea that the universe knows something I don’t. But, then again, I met another chap on 53rd and Sutton Place during a before-recorded-history leg of this enterprise under similarly unlikely circumstances, and he urged me to consider that fate had brought us together. I balked at his certainty, but I must admit that I probably would have jumped aboard his beliefwagon had I not been pining for my karaoke-ing friend. My belief in fate is selective.
It’s not as if I think I was “supposed” to find the Quaker school or anything like that. And, I’m certainly not converting to Quackerism [sic intended] now. I’m a strict humanist, and I plan to stay that way. But, I do find it odd that we humans so often stumble upon things that appear to have been placed in our path. By who or what, I don’t know, and perhaps I’d rather not know.
Thing is, “fateful” encounters occur all the time, and we get to choose which ones are meaningful to us. We hold the power. We define fate for ourselves. Which, means it’s not really fate at all. It’s just paying attention.
**I payed attention to the Friends’ playground, and it sucks real bad. It was probably built by William Penn himself. Poor friendly children.
Streets walked: Clarkson St. to West Side Highway to 15th St. to University to 13th St. to Broadway to the Strand (I bought a book!) to 14th St. to Whole Foods (I bought a cookie!) to 14th St. again to Union Square West to 15th St. to 1st Ave. to 16th St. to Perlman to 15th St. to 2nd Ave. to 17th St. to Perlman through Stuyvesant Square to 2nd Ave. through Stuyvesant Square (the other one) to Rutherford to 17th St. to 2nd Ave. to 17th St. to Rutherford to 15th St. back to Rutherford to 16th St. to Union Square West (which becomes Park Avenue) to Vanderbilt to 45th St. to Lexington Ave. to West Helmsley Walk to Park Ave. to 118th St. to Home
Sights Seen: Quaker playground, Trinity Broadcast Network (the religious bane of my own childhood)