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art and travel journal from a round-the-world art adventure

New York

USA | Saturday, 13 June 2009 | Views [591] | Comments [1]

New York, while not infinite, at least aspires to that condition, and the narrow island of Manhattan is filled with regular rectangular iterations of crystalline concrete growth, rhomboid and enormous at the northern and southern ends, and dipping to a mere four stories in the middle. The streets, except of course Broadway, run north south east west, and so you can stand on 6th, say, and look up and down a vast canyon of stone and brick and steel.

But if the buildings possess slight material similarity then the people are nowhere the same. Every face is different, brought here down who knows how tortuous paths, from the heavily carved features of a man whose ancestors crossed the Bering Strait in the last Ice Age, to fresh migrants arguing enthusiastically in their approximation of American English, Eastern European accents peppered with the twang of idiomatic loan words.

It is a city that is never still, except perhaps now, early on a Saturday morning. The shops in the street below have hardly opened, the smell of bacon from the deli across the road has not reached up to my window, and the sounds of birdsong have not yet been erased by traffic and the howl of sirens and alarms.

For the first time in a week the temperature is rising, and with it the layers of cloud that have blanketed the island in a dense, gritty fog. Instead we have a sticky heat, and later in the day the hipsters of this hipper than thou section of Williamsburg will stand on street corners, tattooed arms and legs projecting from short skirts and torn jeans, condensation beading on the iced drinks they sip through the spaces afforded between piercings, studs and labrettes.

Comments

1

Hey damonlk,

We really liked your blog and decided to feature it this week so that others could enjoy it too!

Happy travels!

World Nomads

  World Nomads Jun 15, 2009 12:48 PM

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