This week, I went up. Monday's adventure was a visit to the Top of the Rock with my niece and nephew. It's something to see. From the 70th floor, Manhattan shrinks. You can see that it is an encrusted island, stretching north around the big green of Central Park, and banded south by nickel-silver water. Spiky bridges spoke into the outer boroughs, buildings rise and fall like bar graphs and rooftops are warty with water towers and fan vents. Yellow cabs crawl beetle-like below, and people become ambulating specks. We had a particularly good time counting the helicopters, hovering like dragonflies above and below our line of vision.
As we were going down the elevator, I heard a man tell his wife, 'Now we have seen New York.'
Certain angles widen the view, but seeing more is not seeing all. I was thinking about this after hanging out with my niece and nephew. They are three and five. A lot of loving care and anxiety goes into ordering their lives. It is easy to look at them and get dumbly nostalgic, thinking how wonderful childhood is. It has become a discrete, past entity for me - therefore, safe. I made it through. The living reality of how frustrating and intense it is, wound up tight with the anxiety of forward motion isn't mine anymore. I can only look from a remove. I see it - at least, I see what I can see, and I see what I can remember.
All this just to remind myself there's no seeing everything, no matter how high I go or how hard I look.
Time to go out for a sandwich.
Sidebar 1: I am digging small wallets and contemplating brogues.
Sidebar 2: A nice magazine is a rare treat.
Sidebar 3: As always, you can click on the image for links to all the items pictured.