The “N” Train. Part One.

I finally arrived in New York City.

My first visit to the this city. My first visit East of Chicago. Southwest Airlines safely delivered me into the hands of what some call “the fair city.” I was nervous, its no secret. My fear of flying aside (funny to say, since so many dream of it), I was nervous about the subway, about the momentum, the noise, the sanitation (or lack of) the car horns and the concrete jungle with a looming skyscraper canopy, no mountains in sight. I was nervous about feeling as a sardine, tightly packed against other unfamiliar bodies. I didn’t know what to expect aside from everyone saying, “Oh you’re going to love it,” “how exciting,” etc., which can be annoying when you feel there is a strong possibility that you may not “love it.” A cab ride away was the neighborhood I am calling home for the next four + weeks, Queens.

Do I love it?

Queens, NYThis morning I stepped out my door, pulling tight to the tiny click. “Click.” The first sound of a symphony until my feet hit the pavement and percussively explore the concrete cracks. “Swish.” The sound of an old man sweeping off his stoop or his wife’s. His small soundbite accompanied by a grimace that melts into a smile as he sees his granddaughter walking towards him. Or someone who could be. The air is thick and there are few scents surviving to linger in the soup, until a bright floral catches you. “Pop.” Fresh roses sprinkling the streets like welcomed foreigners against the graffitied arch. Vines crawling up towards the tracks overhead, are the hiding or revealing something less obvious to the iris? “Shuffle.” Block after block bones shuffle down the streets in the early morning. Creaking and yawning, smiling and slapping. “Woosh.” A cold blast of air assaults the willing walker sweltering in the city sun. And again, “woosh.” “Woosh.” Just as assaulting to the senses, “yhaaaa,” blasts through the air and tickles the nostrils with the warm scent of cooked meats. Delicious, mouth-watering scents that turn us all animal. “Yhaaaa.” The man at the stand is helping a regular, topping his confection with the right amount of pickled perks. Suddenly a faint melody emerges. Someone is singing. Singing to himself perhaps? Or only what sounds like song, a white-haired Italian man is sending his song on the wind and across the roadway to another that receives (and counters) with the same expressive melody and dramatic gestures that only indicate the true theatrical nature of it all. Women in white headscarves accompany me back to my seat. The sun has chased be away from the burrow and back to…”click.”

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