When I left the little group with Reza yesterday afternoon I wasnt quite ready to go home while these thoughts wandered around in my head, so I walked through Battery Park and headed toward Battery Park City by way of West Street, the western boundary of the World Trade Center pit.
The main events at the site had already ended by this time, but along that strip, parked in the path which is reserved for pedestrians, runners and bicyclists, rather than docked in the street itself, were literally dozens of large TV trucks sent to cover the news of the second anniversary of the events of September 11. Obviously lots of people are making lots of money from this thing still.
While I waited for what seemed like forever to be permitted by the traffic cop to cross West Street, frustrated because I didnt want to be there anyway and my exit was now being arrested, I mumbled, fuck this, to myself. Just then I noticed a very patient, bright-eyed guy to my left, and his appearance calmed me.
A minute later I saw him referring to his tour guide and looking a little puzzled, so I asked if I could give him some direction. I mean, why not? Im very familiar with the entire area, having both lived and worked there at one time, and I have been a very sad and very regular visitor for exactly two years now.
He wanted to know where he could find an elevated position to see into the pit. I could only think of the huge window in the back of the Winter Garden, just above where we stood. The entrance was difficult to locate yesterday, so, feeling some responsibility by now, I went with him.
Well, we ended up spending the entire afternoon and early evening together moving about the city. Heck, I had nothing else scheduled. Nicolas is from Bordeaux, in the middle of the two weeks of his first visit to the U.S., and we hit it off pretty well.
Like Barry and myself when we travel, he tries to engage the locals when visiting new places. I guess that was my attraction, since Im pretty local here. On my side, it didnt hurt that hes very smart, had recently graduated from an arts college and is now continuing private music study to pursue a career in progressive jazz/rock, and delighted in the fact that many of his friends are gay. One is even bi [pronounced bee]. Hed down his homework on New York. Already seen the classics, he said, and it turns out he had. He had made every major art museum, including Brooklyns, done the Empire State and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. When I met him he had just returned from a trip on the Staten Island Ferry. Now he was ready for the streets and neighborhoods.
He, his friend here in the city, Barry and I now all have tickets for Tonics Monday night concert with fabulous John Zorn and Fred Frith yes, the two together!
We're going around to galleries with Nicolas tomorrow.
Hes fallen in love with New York, he says. I think he really means it, since he seriously claims its quieter, and less rushed than Bordeaux, and the people are calmer!
Yes, we talked a lot about politics French, U.S., world.
We really do love the French!