Summer evenings.

 

From east 74th street and an anxiety ridden train journey to an exhibition to which my good London friends did come, complete with a tour and some wine and meeting the infamous D.L.. Her wanting to know how we all know each other and why we all left london for NYC and what they do, “You work for Vanity-Fair, oh you must know my good friend Fran Lebowitz”; our gallery was a success amongst peers and strangers; a couple of goodbyes to people I will miss seeing everyday and have been a great support (M.); a delicious steak take-out and a gathering at S., who was leaving at 10am for the desert with R. to carry out what will no doubt be an amazing project. Four girls I am becoming very fond of, although three have just graduated and some banter about (my new found) lessons, professors and each other. Then a trip to Canal street with O., who showed me around the grand, albeit somewhat parasitic, arch at the bottom of Chinatown and a chat about Woody Allen, the Met and getting to know the city.  Then a cycle home from the station at dawn, the sky a dusty blue and the roads glistening from the showers I thankfully missed (although my bike seat and helmet, did not).

In bed to the sounds of the morning again, rushing cars and the peep of sunlight through my ridiculous bedsheet curtain and awake at 3pm to the sound of my phone – G. wants me to model for her aunt’s collection, in Chelsea tomorrow at 7am; who does anything at 7am? $$$ sounds like a good enough ecxuse to me.  Wasting time as usual, pack of smarties, cup of tea, 6pm. Checking the time of sunset (8:23), I can’t waste another day at home, I set off with my bike. A cycle all the way up the east river, and a detour through east Harlem. A wave from a motorcyclist decked in a skeleton suit, complete with helmet and sinister smiling mask made me laugh out loud for a whole block. Stopped to watch some softball games, while a barber’s played Aretha Franklin across the street. Found some swimming pools, why are they all only 4ft deep? (3 feet 8 inches to be exact).

Reached the top of Central Park, the most beautiful part I had never seen. Finally got my feet wet for the first time this year – dipped my toes in a shallow lake, its not the Mediterranean but it’ll have to do for now. An african queen sitting with her beau, eyes closed singing along to a tiny radio playing african music, facing, but not, the serene view of the lake at dusk.  Cycled west through the dewy wet passionately green forest parts, taken over by ten thousand cyclists (and joggers), what a climb! Managed to escape at a sign pointing to the Hudson River and hoped I’d make it just before the sun said goodbye in all its orange blur I could see peaking out through the streets. I climbed and climbed! Almost gave up, then downhill bliss. Fast down the paths and under the bridge, over the road and here I am. Sailboats and a spanish guitar two benches from me. Glistening lights of New Jersey on the water, starry planes in the sky, drowned out sounds of speeding cars behind me. Fresh smelling trees and fish, and an occasional icy breath of the surface of the river.

Cycling home I enter the park, I think my tyre’s flat but I keep cycling. I see a security truck and hear some commotion, then I hear cheering, music. I move in that direction. What do I find but English voices, it’s the Arctic Monkeys. It’s England, come to keep me company. Drop my bike and have a little dance, I caught the encore, two of my favourites. The show is over and I start for home with smiles on my face.

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