When you are “on the road” (for me a figurative expression right now, since on this trip I have not travelled more than a few blocks at a time down any particular road, except on the train, perhaps, or in the cab from the airport), you have to find times and places to recharge–not yourself, though that too, but your devices. Having your phone run out can lead to problems, since now, more than at other times, people may need to reach you and vice versa. So I am in the lobby of the Central Park West Hostel (slightly grungy but quiet, safe, and convenient), charging both the phone and the laptop and thinking about the past few days.

I will tell the sequence backward: yesterday evening, a walk through Fort Tryon Park (above), after going downtown to pick up glasses I had left in Queens the day before. Before that, I had an eye exam for new glasses (which should arrive in the mail in Dallas in 7-10 days); before that, a lovely meeting with a friend. Before that, one of several trips to the storage space in Inwood, and before that, a night of reasonable sleep.

Monday was just as packed (and even muggier): dinner and a long conversation with a friend in Washington Heights/Inwood; before that, a sweet afternoon with friends in Jackson Heights, Queens; before that, a visit to Columbia Secondary School, my former and beloved school; before that, Morning Minyan at B’nai Jeshurun, where I had the joy of reading Torah, davening with BJ, and seeing people. Before that, my first night at the hostel, and before that, arrival in NYC after a long flight (with a frantic stopover, or rather, dash-with-every-bone-and-muscle-in-you-over, in Rome, since I had to sprint from one terminal to another to make my connection on time. (I didn’t really have to, as it turned out; after I arrived and took my seat, the airplane waited about twenty minutes for a few others with tight connections.)

“Humid” is not the word for the past few days. It was like being wrapped from head to toe in a scarf of perpetual steam. At least it was a scarf–porous, that is–and not plate armor. I was grateful for every shower, every air conditioner and fan, every glass of water–and glad that, within the weather, I was able to go to Morning Minyan; go to various parts of the city; see people; talk with them, without rush, over omelettes, cherries, Bangladeshi Chinese food, salmon, wine, etc.;  and get ready for the trip to Dallas. Now that the recharging is complete (or close enough), I will head on my way.


I took the first photo in Fort Tryon Park and the second outside Inwood Hill Park.

I made a few additions to this piece after posting it.

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