I survived Times Square. Times Square – which is not exactly a square – is so exhausting. I think no New Yorker goes there without a serious reason like going to a Broadway show or working there. All those people on Times Square are either tourists or people who make money with tourists. Ticket vendors, bus tour vendors, Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Spiderman. It is like Piazza San Marco in Venice – go there once to have seen it, then avoid it.
After a long chat with André during breakfast I started the third stage of my walk down Broadway at 72nd Street – Verdi Square – on the Upper West Side, where I spent quite a lot of time during my stay in Harlem. When I left Harlem heaven was still thinking about sending rain. When I arrived at Verdi Square the decision had been made. It was pouring.
It was just a shower though, but one of several ones this afternoon. After it had stopped I walked this familiar part of Broadway to Lincoln Center where Broadway crosses Columbus Avenue and on to Columbus Circle.
There I sidestepped into Time Warner Building, a noble shopping mall, to check out what my kitchen might need from Williams Sonoma.
Some rays of sunlight had found their way through the clouds when I got out again.
Beyond Columbus Circle Broadway becomes midtowny and after a few blocks the outskirts of Times Square begin. Broadway theaters and souvenir shops come up. Times Square spans from 47th to 42nd Streets. It has become a pedestrian zone in 2009 and chairs and tables have been arranged.
Cars are crossing it though. It is definitely not a place to sit and rest. All the luminous advertising and the masses of people drive me crazy. So I felt relieved when I had crossed 42nd Street and could leave it behind me.
I walked on until Herald Square at 34th Street where “the world’s largest store” – Macy’s – is attracting New Yorkers as well as visitors.
From there I walked back to 42nd Street on 6th Avenue, aka Avenue of the Americas. It is lined by big shops selling stuff for the fashion industry here. Cords, bands, laces, chains, buttons and the like. It is the garment district.
I was heading for Bryant Park, where a free Memoir Writing class was taking place in the Reading Room. It started raining heavily again when I arrived there. They had set up the tent, so the Reading Room was dry – and very busy.
The teacher was good. She explained that a memoir should go through 3 drafts: write it down, then work out the theme and cut out details that do not work for it, then be creative and make it unique. We did exercises on every draft. So in 90 minutes I learned how to write a memoir :-). She recommended the very book about memoirs that I had bought just last week: Vivian Gornick – The Situation and the Story.
On my way home I made a stop at Verdi Square again to pick up a tray of Sushi at Fairway for a late dinner. I was not in the mood to go somewhere for dinner and it was too late for cooking. So a little yummy snack was just what I needed.
What I learned today:
I want to go deeper into writing memoirs.