Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A New York State of Mind # 3

While walking along 57th Street near Central Park, I happened upon a book kiosk--one of many that seem to crop up like mushrooms along the streets in New York.  Lots of used books here--like new--and more than an ample selection of novels, top-class non-fiction, and titles of such esoteric nature that they naturally draw the eye to their titles.

I stopped for a few minutes to browse, but spent more time watching the other patrons going through their paces.  As a rule, I'd say that New Yorkers know how to look for books, and at books.  They have the eye for cover art, binding, and paper quality like no other city.

But the Central Park Zoo was calling, and so was a much-needed bottle of water to offset the 97-degree heat.  I had to step away from the kiosk to go see the white leopard, the red panda, and a wild assortment of tropical birds--each vibrant with color.

Later that night, while exiting the subway for a final time, I did my good deed for the day and handed off my Metro card to a Bronx-accented gentleman who was attempting to purchase a ride uptown.  He accepted my gift, but looked quizzically at me and asked, "Is there any money left on it?"

I quickly explained that I was from out of town:  "Way out of town."  And I added, "There should be three-days-worth of rides remaining on the card."

He thanked me, still suspicious of my intentions, but I walked away before he could deduce that I was a Jehovah's Witness or a lunatic.  (Well . . . maybe the latter.)

But I was tired from fighting shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face crowds for five days and eager to get back to Hoosier-land, where life is so boring and the lawns are so dry.  And I had books to read back at the hotel.

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