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Just out for an afternoon stroll…in midtown

September 15, 2011

Actually, make that late afternoon, or around 6:30, after I got out of work in Midtown East.  Now that I live in the Bronx, my roaming patterns have changed a lot.  I used to get out of work and automatically get on the train to go home, not even seeing daylight before entering the station underground.  (On the other hand, on my way to work, as long as I had the time, I took the longer route so that I could get off at Bryant Park and walk the few blocks through the park and to the office, rather than re-emerge above ground directly into the building.  Although I know that must be really convenient in winter [Middlebury…if only you had tunnels…] in the summer, it made me feel kind of inhuman.)  My old commute was only about 25 minutes, while my new commute is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the time of day.

Yesterday, I left work at 6, with 3 hours to kill until I went uptown to Morningside Heights to celebrate my friend Wang Yu’s 25th birthday.  No point in commuting home first…I had even packed my PJs and toothbrush and glasses so that I could crash at her apartment that night.

So, three hours in midtown…what to do?  Honestly, the most I have seen of it since I moved to the city is the midtown lunch rush, as swarms of suited men and women crowd around trays of kimchi, iceberg lettuce, roasted potatoes, and sesame chicken in local delis.

Well, I started off walking purposefully in the direction of Bryant Park.  I love Bryant Park, the way the trees look against the sleek glassy skyscrapers, the lawn filled with families, the gravel paths dotted with tables of friends and couples eating take-out together.  Way back in June, I went for drinks at The Porch at Bryant Park, which is so cute with its wicker chairs and strings of lights.  Yesterday, though, the main event was table tennis:

There was some pretty intense competition going on.

I took a seat to observe and suddenly felt the urge for a coke.  Can you see why?


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