Tag: New York City

New York City

City of Dreams

Last night I was getting ready for my class at Gotham Writers HQ, which is at 38th & 8th, one of the few parts of New York City that is not being snapped up by billionaires. I was on the 14th floor, heard some commotion on the street, went over to the window to look outside and saw this scene. I am transfixed by this picture, partly because it looks like something Edward Hopper might have painted had he worked for Gotham. But mainly because it so perfectly captures how I feel about the city. There’s something murky, dreamy and lonely about the picture. Everyone who spends time in NYC must be conscious of the fact that although the city hums with millions of people, you are alone as you walk through it. You also cannot walk two feet without overhearing someone talking about their dreams, whether it’s for a financial venture or a screenplay or something more lurid. I’m imagining the woman in this picture woman walking along, plotting out her novel, and perhaps coming to an unexpected understanding of where it’s all going. Then she’ll slip into that hotel, get a drink and go to work. Do you […]

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My walk on the west side

I spend most of my time holed up in my office and occasionally going into the woods with my dogs. But on Wednesdays, I venture into New York City. There I teach writing classes for Gotham Writers. So every Wednesday I walk from Grand Central over to Eighth Avenue, and every Wednesday I see some amazing things.   First, I go past Library Walk, which I love. It’s a collection of plaques on the street which feature quotes by various writers. (Let me tell you that it was not easy to take this picture. I was almost trampled alive.)  Then, I keep on going until I get to the flower beds in front of the NY Public Library. In the spring, this is filled with tulips. In February it has these white branches, but it’s always changing and I never know what to expect.   Then I continue on, heading West, and the vibe begins to change. Things begin to get a bit more gritty and crowded.  I pass by the Millinery synagogue, which is an old building tucked in between a lot of new ones. I always stop and pay my respects.   Then I keep on going west, and I pass by what I think is the single most disgusting menu in New York:  Keep going west and now I’m in the heart of the Garment District, which I love. There are so many stores filled with zippers and buttons and beautiful fabrics. In the summer there are sample sales and for $5, you can buy clothes off the rack. Occasionally I am almost run down by one of those racks.                          And then I’m at Eighth Avenue and it’s time to work, and I walk into my office, chat for a few minutes and then begin talking about novels with my students. How do you get to work? 

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