It was my plan for today. Start living again after all those days determined by class work. Continue walking down Broadway. When I got up on the morning the sun was shining, the sky was blue, Rachael just coming from the Gym told me how nice it is outside and my weather forecast announced 0% chance of rain at least until 4pm. So I put on my walking shoes and a string top and left the house with my sunglasses propped on my head. I needed them on my way to the subway in Brooklyn. When I got out of the subway at Herald Square 34th Street in Manhattan – where I had ended the last stage of my Broadway walk – it was pouring and the sky was a dirty grey.
I fled into Macy’s and browsed shoes. Having finished the shoes I stepped outside to see what it was like. I had to browse clothes as well. Not that I am reluctant to shopping but I had not come to town for shopping today and I was not really dressed for shopping. So when I stepped outside next time I stayed there and thought about alternatives to walking Broadway. The sky did not look as if it would seriously get better soon. It had changed from pouring to drizzling though, so I decided to walk at least 11 blocks to Madison Square at 23rd Street and have a lunch sandwich at good old Eisenberg’s. Then I would go back home, do laundry and use the rainy afternoon to read the new stories.
The part of Broadway ahead of me did not appear familiar at all although I could have sworn I had walked there already sometime. Some old, dark and tall buildings, former factory buildings I guess, a lot of shops that could be anywhere – among them many bag stores selling the same bags as the guys in the streets, just more expensive, a Fairway (goooood to know), faceless apartment towers promising luxury rentals.
At 23rd Street I would have expected to meet the Flatiron Building. But it was not there. That was when I realized I was not on Broadway but on 6th Avenue, aka Avenue of the Americas. Broadway crosses 6th Avenue at Herald Square. I had taken the wrong one.
Walking back to Herald Square on Broadway then would not be valid – my assignment was walking DOWN Broadway. So I would have to start at Herald Square again. But not now, not in the rain. I walked over to the Flatiron Building and had a Pastrami Sandwich at Eisenberg’s.
It was good but not as good as Katz’s and it felt heavy in my stomach for hours.
Before I went home I wanted to check a restaurant down in Tribeca, Distilled, where they serve the upscale version of Chicken on Waffles, that’s Duck on Brioche. I took the train to City Hall and walked over to West Broadway. It took a while to find it because I had memorized the wrong subway stop – Chambers Street instead of Franklin Street. But what do we have smart phones for. On my way back to City Hall to catch a fast 4 or 5 train home I passed the Civic Centre area where all the Court buildings are standing. In the rain below this still grey sky they do not look as splendid as in beaming sunshine. I will need to come back there on a sunny day.
At home I checked emails, did some money transfers to be able to pay for my next place, went to the laundry and to the supermarket. There I checked out something I had spotted last week in Park Slope. They do have bottle recycling machines now. I don’t know how much money I already have wasted by putting my bottles in the glass and plastic recycling bin, simply underestimated the American sense of recycling!
The evening was reserved for watching Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech with Rachael on msnbc. I have a dream. Washington, August 28th 1963. We ordered some delicious Tacos and Guacamole, made ourselves at home on the sofa and devoutly watched what had happened 50 years ago in American history. It was impressive. Martin Luther King was impressive and the masses of people were impressive. I learned about the march of the kids who went to prison after King was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama and that NY Governor Rockefeller gave 100.000 Dollars to King’s attorney as a credit to pay the bails to get them free.
I questioned Rachael, who is half black and regards herself as colored, about discrimination of colored people today and what needed to be done to change that. She said that in her opinion the first thing is awareness. Americans need to admit that there still is a problem instead of thinking and pretending that everything is settled. In return she wanted to know what we in Germany get to know about the Problem of racism in the US. I told her that we get to know when something happens, like the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But the problem itself is not an issue in our media.
Tomorrow new guests for a week will arrive. Two German girls. I am curious.
What I learned today:
A bit of American history