This morning I went off to the car with my new bobblehead moose (a souvenir of Maine from my friend T.) and gave up my spot for a trip to the mechanic’s, to get a new headlight and an oil change, and maybe to see about fixing that shudder over 60 m.p.h. (wheel alignment? tire balancing? one bad tire?). The radio was tuned to 105.9, and I was about to change it to 96.3, but it was playing such nice music that I left it alone. Then I remembered: WQXR moved last night, and the familiar Nebraska voice of Jeff Spurgeon moved with it. This was his first day on the new job.
So I get to the mechanic’s, leave the car, and decide to explore the High Line, the park built on the old railroad elevated over Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Chelsea. It’s spectacular! The landscapers have retained a lot of the weedy effect, and the views are great: segments of the Hudson River, Chelsea Piers, monstrous modern glass buildings in the swooping Frank Gehry style, New Jersey, parking lots . . . I ran into an Australian tourist up there—she sounded like Nona Appleby. (Nona should visit the High Line.) I got her to take a picture of cars parked on elevated risers in front of the back of a billboard. “Is that aesthetically pleasing to you?” she asked. I swore it was.
Then, on my way across town, I saw a black dog being pushed down the street in a stroller. The street cleaner was just coming along, and cars were shifting to claim spots. (It looked like there was a fair amount of space over there, on a 9-10:30 A.M. block; I’ll have to remember that if I get desperate in my neighborhood.) Finally, just before getting on the subway, I heard music and saw a woman sitting on a stoop practicing the banjo. At least, I think it was a woman. It was definitely a banjo.
I wish I had thought to stop in the flower district for potting soil. Just now I asked around the office, where there are lots of gardeners, and got enough soil to pot my alternate-side-parking aloe in a styrofoam cup. I hope it survives. It’s on my desk with the bobblehead moose, which I forgot to leave in the car and carried to work, where it has been greatly admired.