Rain and the City


I decide to walk some 38 blocks today down to Columbus Circle and by the 2nd block I have to remove my scarf and cardigan. It’s a warm, cloudy Spring day and as there’s no such thing as walking in pedestrian-unfriendly LA, I try to go everywhere on foot while in NYC, no matter how far. Much to my delight, not a single driver gives me the finger when I dash across the street…in fact, they even wait for me to cross without revving the engine. Imagine that!

As soon as I’m done with the shopping at Columbus Circle and step inside the ubiquitous Duane Reade to get a bottle of water, however, the rain comes pouring down.  Lightning and thunder make their appearance as well. A small crowd gathers anxiously at the front door and most brave their way back outside. Work or lunch beckons. With a newly purchased umbrella in hand (now it makes total sense why there is a Duane Reade on every block for your every need), I walk out and then come right back in. My OCD self asks for a plastic shopping bag so that I can “waterproof” my purse; the plastic bag then goes inside my paper shopping bag. For all you purse fanatics out there, you feel my pain, right? I know the caviar leather is the best defense in the worst of all weather challenges, but c’mon, I’m not leaving anything to chance. We Angelenos do not trust rain. We don’t see it often enough and in a big downpour, we think we might melt right into the puddles forming beneath our feet.

People say there are 10 million people with 10 million stories in this city, all unfolding at the same time. That explains the energy in Manhattan, and it boggles the mind how many stories intersect then multiply each time you meet someone on the street. The permutations are endless. For example, while I am waiting inside this drugstore for the rain to stop I have a wonderful conversation with a lovely doctor who tells me about his two adult children and his numerous travels around the world with his wife.  We bond over our love of travel and art. So for half an hour or so, the unpleasantness of an unexpected rain brings forth a very pleasant conversation between strangers.  That’s rain and the city for you. 

During my trek of the 35 blocks back to my sister’s place, I slosh past the Theodore Roosevelt Park. It’s lush and romantic looking in the rain. We have the fantastic Griffith Park in LA but New Yorkers really knows how to do parks.  I’ve blogged about the park surrounding the Meiji-Jingu Shrine in Tokyo as being one of my favorite walks in the world, but I could probably wander around Manhattan’s many parks for days. Anyway, if I were to spend a day at Roosevelt Park, I’d have to cross the street to go to the Shake Shack (http://www.shakeshack.com/) where I had the best veggie burger the last time I was in the city. I’ve basically tried every veggie burger in the world and most unfortunately encourage me to become a carnivore again.

With the rain I haven’t been able to take too many pics but even if I had been able to, it wouldn’t have done me any good. I’m having some technical difficulty downloading them to my laptop so the fuzzy one from my blackberry today is as good as it gets. I know it’s no fun for you to read about traveling without the photographic evidence.

1 Comment

  1. Florence

    Ah, are you in nyc now? Hope to run into you somewhere. =) Enjoy the spring sunshine!!

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