Luke Melia


April 24, 2004

NYC Spring

I played volleyball this morning. 5 good players. And me. I’m working on my hitting. It’s coming along. I need to work on playing smart, and on staying competitively focused. Tournament season is here.

We finished on the early side, so I slapped on my skates and headed up the West Side bike path.

Rolled past the Liberty Helicopter Tours, where spendy tourists were getting great rides over the Hudson in the blue helicopters. Up off the tarmac, tilt forward, and they’re off for a visit to our lady liberty’s airspace.

Further up, the Intrepid came into view, and looming over it, the Queen Mary 2. This behemoth of a cruise ship is on it’s maiden voyage to Manhattan. I heard that a core design guideline was that the ship was to fit under the Verrozano Bridge. It does, but barely. There were throngs of people getting an eyeful.

My own eye full, I turned around and set my feet to sending me downtown, speeding back by Chelsea Piers and wind at my back past the west village and into TriBeCa. Past the outdoor Trapeze School. Lots of people lounging in the river’s recently created green parks. Sunbathing, talking on cell phones, peeling off layers of clothing.

I stopped and grabbed a sandwich to go from the Lunchbox and zipped down to Pier 25. There was no sign of the volleyball tournament I expected there. Perhaps it was called off for wind? Instead I watched skaters work the ramps and pipes of the skate park there and contemplated the free kayaking offered later in the summer. I ate my sandwich listening to Rusted Root and Bob Dylan play into my ears while the wind swept across the river in front of me.

My stomach satisfied, I set about my next goal: a haircut. Skated up to Houston and then away from the river into the heart of the west village. My feet brought me through Washington Square Park where an acrobatic troupe entertained countless people while countless other lay in the grass, sat on the benches and strolled the criss-crossed paths.

In due time, I arrived at Astor Place. A woman named Sarra shopped off my winter hair growth. I imagined it finding my recently departed beard in the afterlife. She chattered in Russian with the other haircutters, pausing to confirm with me that the idiom is “Am I right or am I wrong?” and not “Do I right or do I wrong?”.

From Astor Place, a skated north through Union Square on my way home. Near the subway entrance was a capoeira circle, where two guys with amazing physiques were engaged in a fast-paced combination of dancing and fighting. I watched as young asian teen sporting a mohawk shook his head smiling as the pair took a tumble into the crowd near him.

The farmer’s market was in full swing on the other side of the square, I thought about making a few purchases before remembering I’d spent nearly all of the cash in my wallet on lunch and the haircut. So I just rolled home, opened the window and blinds and put on some tunes.

I fired up Movable Type to write all this down because a day like today is one of the things I love most about New York City. Skates make the city small enough to give you an overload of culture and variety in a few hours.

Enough writing now. Back to living it.

One Response to “NYC Spring”

  1. anthony chimed in:

    ahhh… brings me back. i miss it.

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