Our Tito Puente stairwell. Can you see the top? Neither can we when we return from a day of trotting the concrete. But it does offset the caloric intake which is substantial.
Here we are playing the parking game. This is our limited understanding of it: On Mondays and Thursdays the north side of the street gets swept and all cars must be moved between 9:30 and 11:00 am. On Tuesday and Friday, the south side is swept and cars moved same hours. With me so far? Ok, so after much observing we realized that what people do is double park on the non-sweeping side, wait in the car or at least close by, for the sweeper and/or 11:00 to come and then it’s a free-for-all to get the available spots. There’s a delicate art to it and when you succeed you feel you have won a minor skirmish with the Metro Transit Authority. This day, we did. However, note to self:
The MTA got us in the end. This is what happens when you forget to fold your mirrors in when you do win the parking game and score the plum spot. Between this and a midday 30-minute struggle with the keys unlocking the three locks for Apt 3A, just a tad, just a tiny tad, of the bloom was off the rose. Alabama, and one optional lock on a front door, whistled a bar of “Sweet Home” in my ear.
So we decided to souvenir shop for the kids. Success in Harlem which increasingly feels like home in our wide subway line wanderings. We limped off the 6 train this eve at 110th street feeling like we were with our people.
Say what you want about the man, he knows how to turn on the AC when he punches in in the morning at his tower on 5th Ave. A coffee in front of the pink marble fountain helped us tap the reserve tank for the last neighborhood we wanted to cover – Greenwich Village. But the picture-taking slacked off because the reserve tank was low too.
Washington Square was packed with people and street performers including one who painted himself gold and stood absolutely still on a pillar like a greek statue. I was too tired to take a pic. Above Andrew rests his aching feet and we listen to the poor guy to our right pour out his heart while his girl paints her toenails black and looks far more interested in them than in him. Muy mal.
Tito Puente at 2nd Ave is quiet this morning. Ricardo Steak House across the avenue is rolled down and sleeping after a hopping Friday night. All the dapper gents who eased in its doors for steak and the party are barely stirring. The street fair is still, its vendors drinking coffee and planning when to shuck the corn for corn-on-a-stick.
And Andrew and I straighten up our sweet digs and hum “Big wheels keep on turning, carry me home to see my kin, singing songs about the Southland . . .”