Saturday, July 05, 2008

New York State of Mind

So I'm back in the Bay Area after a busy week in New York. Although I'd planned it as a vacation trip, for my Dad's birthday, it turned into a bit more of an emergency trip when Dad had to go in for surgery.

I spent most of the day in the hospital, but when they kicked me out after visiting hours ended, I just didn't feel like moping around the apartment.

Whatever else you may say about New York--the sky-high price of milk, the endless lines, crowded streets with people rudely rolling their strollers over your toes--the city always has little magical moments that just don't seem to happen elsewhere.

Olafur Eliasson, whose terrific exhibit I'd seen at the SF Museum of Modern Art, has turned on his wonderful waterfalls in the East River, so I wandered down to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge to have a gander.

I half expected to see hordes of people clogging the bike path under the drive, but to my pleasant surprise, it was just me and a few other art lovers enjoying a stroll along the water at dusk, as we all watched the lights come on in the city.

Fishermen still wait patiently for their (edible? inedible?) catch, and locals from nearby Chinatown sit on the benches, taking in the view across the river.

I walked all the way to Pier 35 to see the tall cascade, and marvel at the pleasure that running water seems to evoke in humans.

A tug pushing a barge filled with trash plows by -- man-made beauty and man-made garbage.

It's well worth staying past sunset to watch the real beauty of the Waterfalls come out.

What is this? No idea. And why do things look so strangely surreal at night in New York?

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