Lunchtime Walks in the City: Heading West


Funk Band in front of the Apple Store

Emerging from the stale air of my office building, I got caught up in the funky sounds coming out of the above quartet…Wild Cherry’s Play The Funky Music…and diverted my walk up 58th St. for a few minutes to stop and listen.

Hey, do it now
Yeah, hey

Next on their line-up was a sexy Ohio Players tune called Skin Tight.

Yeah, yeah
You are a bad bad Mrs.

In them skin tight britches

Runnin’ folks in ditches

Baby about to bust the stitches, yeah

Skin tight, skin tight Skin tight, skin tight

Hold tight

Now that put me in the mood.  I could have hung around all afternoon, but I had places to go and one hour in which to do it. Not that I had a real destination — just a loose plan. To head west. It’s the journey, right?


Today was my favorite kind of walking day in NYC. Overcast, on the cool side, threatening rain, but not following through. See how the colors pop out under an overcast sky.

I turned up 58th St. toward Columbus Circle. Gazed for a moment at the Unisphere….


By the way, that is NOT me walking by…

Next, I turned onto Broadway. I love walking up Broadway toward the upper west side in dreary weather. I’ve always loved it. Broadway, with its twists and turns, always surprises me. Lots of places to hang out on Broadway and people-watch. Unlike 5th, which is all about shopping and smoking cigarettes and being seen. On Broadway, you disappear into the crowd and do your own thing. Like the woman above…

Then, lo and behold, I noticed this street sign:


George Balanchine Way (who knew?)

And when I looked to my left, I saw Lincoln Center in the distance. Completely unexpected (though the street name should have given me a clue). But that’s why I love Broadway. Logically, it made sense for Lincoln Center to be where it was…but I was too bliss-ed out on my stroll to think linearly.

I turned, crossed the street and was greeted by the colossal presence of the Metropolitan Opera House. In the soundtrack of my mind, I could hear Deborah Voigt’s singing.


Wagner is what’s happening now at The Met.

Earlier in the year, I saw Das Reingold — actually saw the performance that accompanies the magnificent Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla staged, music I’d listened to for years on CD and LP. It was enchanting.

Walked up for a closer look at the lyrical watercolor art by Scottish artist Peter Doig on the banners:


I was on another planet. The planet Culture, Music and Art. Lincoln Center Plaza removed all memory of where I had spent my morning (languishing at my desk, craving something, anything with a breath of life and color to it). Right then and there, a feeling of freedom descended on me. I forgot all about my job. How marvelous that was.

But, time was ticking and, unfortunately, my amnesia didn’t kick in quite 100 percent.

I quickly crossed back over Broadway, made another left turn and  found myself on Central Park West. More magic.

Strolling along the stone wall bordering Central Park, I saw my first blooming forsythias of Spring:


Then…I saw a rogue horse (hey, Tea Party — here’s your next maverick candidate for office):


I’ve seen carriage horses resting their front hooves on the curb before, but this horse had mounted the cobblestone sidewalk as if saying: Just try and make me move.

Borrowing some of his horse sense, I trotted back to work, ready to face whatever lay before me in the beige enclosure of my cubicle (knowing that another walk and new adventure awaits me tomorrow).

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2 Responses to “Lunchtime Walks in the City: Heading West”

  1. Javaman Says:

    I am so digging this. You blog should be in the NYTimes. 🙂

  2. Roberta Says:

    I totally agree with the above comment. And maybe print these pictures and place them in front of you on your desk in a panoramic scene. So on those rainy days you can gaze at them and escape for that hour.

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