East Harlem to West Village and back again

I live in East Harlem and work in the West Village, and today I walked from one to the other and back again, and it wasn’t even a work day. I stopped to read The Goldfinch in Bryant Park for a while, and then I went to Chelsea to see my dearest friend of all time. We walked to the Village and ate a bevy of fake chicken entrees at Vegetarian Paradise (delicious) and then walked up Bleecker to confirm that Magnolia does indeed have the best banana pudding around.

We meandered around for a while, as one most certainly must do in The Village/West Village, and so I am afraid our pedestrian journey cannot count toward my project, as it was not properly recorded. I don’t give a shit. I had a great time with my friend.

On the walk home, I walked up 8th Avenue to 60th Street where I followed it until it ended and then walked up Riverside for a good long while. It was a nice night. Breezy. Warm. Peaceful. But, I felt tired and sad.

Last night, I went to the laundromat super late. Like 2 o’clock in the morning late. And a particularly-loquacious 7-year-old girl sat next to me throughout my entire dry cycle and told me all about the life lessons of “Boy Meets World.” Yes, she was up past her bedtime, and, no, I do not know why, but I ain’t gonna judge her mother, and neither should you.

Anyways, she told me about taking salsa lessons and going to a dance party where the boys thought she looked “hot” and how some boy at school asked her for a pencil and she told him to get his own pencil (cuz Topanga did that on “Boy Meets World,” and it worked for her) and how the best flavor of Doritos is the purple bag, which she claimed was sweet chili or “something like that.”

I told her that I loved the Cool Ranch Doritos (Remember when it was called “Cooler Ranch”? What was that about?) but that I had never had the purple bag flavor, and she said, “Oh, you absolutely must try them. They are the very best. You can get them in Poughkeepsie.” Helpful child.

And what do you know, but today on Park Avenue, on the way to Bryant Park, what do I see but a purple bag brand of Doritos discarded and hanging upside down on a fence post. Alas, this girl child alerted me to something of which I had not yet been aware, and now I was in the know and, I would take notice of it everywhere it crossed my path.

So much of life is taking notice. A friend recently urged me not to hasten my walking endeavor, but to take my time and to savor it, to explore the streets thoroughly. For there is something to be found everywhere.

So, tonight when I was tired and sad and still many blocks from home, I started looking around at my surroundings. I found beautiful finials on lampposts and interesting bumper stickers on car windows and well-loved mini-gardens on front stoops and sidewalks. There is so much to see. And so much we will miss if we do not listen to those reminding us to notice.

Streets Walked: 118th St. to Park Ave. to 59th St. to 5th Ave. to 39th St. to 6th Ave. to 38th St. to 7th Ave. to 34th St. to Unrecorded Village Meandering to 23rd St. to 7th Ave. to
60th St. to dead end to Amsterdam Ave. to 62nd St. to Riverside Dr. to 100th St. to Central Park West to 5th Ave. to 118th St. to Home

Sights Seen: Purple Doritos!


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