Upper West Side, Manhatten, NY


A subway station, Broadway and something, Upper West Side, the smell, and the wait, it’s my moment in the old. To many, the station is as familiar as the back of their hand but not to me. It’s soulful somehow and beyond, because soul is an idea, and this place is full of life, a real continuous expression of life––waiting for the train to work or to home––with a bag of somethings from Zabar’s for dinner. I feel like I’m seeing the inside of a city’s mutual bedroom, with an unmade bed and dirty sheets and a smell, not a good one, but familiar. And it sings to me. I want to hear the screaming wheels approach and the doors open and the rush to make the train before they close, and why am I here? But I have to be here. It’s what I always struggle to describe about NY. I can never put my finger on it. But it pulses. And it brings me back and makes me long for it. The place I’ll always return to, even if only in my mind.