Street Corners and Park Benches

by Brittany


Some New York-y things: Arms pulled straighter than you thought was ever possible as a non double jointed person (although, is beyond straight even straight even more?). Confusing the double bagged handles and dropping a bottle of whiskey on the street corner after grabbing the non-crucial handle. Then contemplating as you look in horror at the black plastic bag at your feet, a) whether or not that thud and gravity had ACTUALLY broken it and, when the smell of Very Old Barton (thankfully you'd decided on the cheaper bottle) wafted up to reach your nose b) what the odds were that the bag itself had broke and if it would hold up carrying lose glass and liquid on the subway. Until finally, all three seconds later the puddle appears around the bag (pronounced in a fiercely Washingtonian accent inside my head) and I move past my denial and grab the [crucial] handles and swing it into the garbage bin next to me. And the police car idling at the red light turns on his siren and I jump guiltily for some reason, then turn to retrace my steps because we have guests expecting whiskey. 

[Below: not the whiskey night]

Another New York-y thing: How people recreate park benches. Two girls swooped over to the rare empty bench (I myself was sharing mine with a variety of others) next to mine. In the space of a minute the bench was transformed from bits of wood and metal to bits of wood and metal that hosted a birthday party. A few shopping bags, a cupcake and a take out box of salad and chatter about evening plans... I think they even giggle-sang happy birthday for a brief bit. Another friend showed up and they all chattered about her haircut.

On the other side of me a business man had transformed his into his office... only took him, his suit and his cell phone. Oh! and his crossword puzzle. Ironically he was talking to his mom... but she definitely was led to believe he was at work. After that he had one of those baffling conversations with a fellow business man. It sounds like a chit chatty gossip session then suddenly ends with shocking formality as if he's just settled the most important deal of his life...all while doing a crossword on a park bench.

 A few more benches over a group of NYU students had their own world swirling around them. Another group met up with them. Everyone knew each other except for one guy and one girl from the respective groups. The girl jumped up and confidently shook the new guy's hand. He had been very much self satisfied but his manner ever so slightly taken aback at how unintimidated she was by his [self-supposed] good looks and demeanor. His afternoon snapped into focus as he realized he had just met the one. She, however, had not. 

And this brings me to the benches/buckets here in my own Chinatown. Cause we live here now. There's not much to say... This photo is pretty self explanatory... It doesn't capture the wads of cash that everyone hid as soon as a camera came out. Just tables and tables of men and women, mostly old but also young, gambling as if their lives depended on it. And I'm wondering now, if they did, in fact. It was just wonderful. My fellow It's Always Sunny fans would especially get a thrill from this particular park.