A Different View of NYC
I have in recent weeks passed thru midtown NYC a couple times. Midtown is different from my usual haunts down in the Village, or over in Williamsburg Brooklyn, and now and again an occasional race over in Central Parks. Rarely is this resident of Westchester down in the midst of the concrete and glass, the crowds, and the traffic of midtown. I do pass thru Grand Central now and again but then onto the 4 Train to the either Fulton Street or Brooklyn Bridge, And usually I am traveling with a specific plan in mind, in and out, and I am watching my watch and checking the train schedule as opposed to taking in the environs around me.
This time though was a little different. I was coming in for a race in Central Park, which was happening at 8:00 Sunday morning, I routinely do races at that time in the park. Usually when I do this, I am driving in. This time, though as we have one car, which was needed to get elsewhere this weekend. So I agreed to take the train into the city and get over to my race that way.
Well I made my train and got into Grand Central, arriving there at 6:30 Sunday morning. I was planning to take the subway up the 4 line this time and then from Lexington cut over to the Park. Instead, once I got there, I decided to walk up Fifth Avenue. Now I have been on 5th Avenue before. Lots of folks have walked up and down Fifth Avenue, but not at 6:30 in the morning.
It was pretty amazing, barely dawn in early October. Just a hint of light, walking up Fifth Avenue. I could look and down 5th Avenue, and see no traffic, not a car, not even a cab. No one was around. One group of contractors was about all I encountered it in my trip up town from 42nd up to the Park. About twenty blocks and seeing barely no one. I saw less than 20 people perhaps on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
I have seen various movies, Twilight Zones and so forth of such moments-moments where the normally packed streets of midtown are empty, but as they say is it one thing to see it on TV and quite another to experience it, Here I was walking past Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s and Sachs 5 Avenue, All were empty. The doors of St. Patrick were open but no mass, no throng of people entering or leaving.
I found that Sunday morning at 6:30, a moment where the city was at least nodding off. It was a quiet moment in the midst of all this concrete, pavement, neon and steam.