Our hotel was a few blocks north and west of Times Square, which, I was glad to find out, even turns lifelong New Yorkers into goggle-eyed yokels. The light bouncing off the cloud cover was otherworldly, and I fear for when some enterprising jackass figures out how to project advertisements for Anderson Cooper onto passing cumolonimbus. I wonder what the glow looked like from Harlem? From Brooklyn?

***

I think it’s funny that our breakfast at Blue Fin, while tasty, was ten times more expensive and a thousand times saltier than our buffet munchies from the Diamond six doors down.

***

The pool at Riverbank State Park was excellent. However, even when submerged, New Yorkers still have that “get the hell out of my way” vibe.

***

And that’s one of the things we picked up immediately: when the traffic’s clear, you move. Does the NYPD even bother with jaywalking tickets?

***

Walking down 8th Avenue to the subway at six in the morning, I kept thinking about Black Star’s “Respiration.” Escuchela; la ciudad respirando. Listen to the city breathe underground as the train rolls by (I take the 1, transfer to the 2), listen to the swish of tires on snow slush, listen to the drips of melting icicles on frozen sidewalks. I get it now.

***

I was sad to say that the bagels, pretzels and pizza did not impress me. I wanted every New York-transplant who bitched about how we Angelenos don’t know how to make any of the above to be proven right, just because it would have meant some really good food. Sorry, folks, but I’ll take Bagel Nosh, the Breadman and Abbot’s over what I had in NYC.

***

Running in Central Park was one of those breakthrough workouts I’d hoped for, just because I was able to get through ten miles in the cold and not want to die. Also, the park was gorgeous, even with the barren trees and brown slush puddles. I have no idea how in hell the people in shorts and cotton t-shirts were able to keep going without, y’know, dying.

***

I want this subway. Oh, God, yes, please, I want this subway to clone itself underneath Wilshire Boulevard with lines running from the Valley to Long Beach. Please, please, please.

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But without the shitty state-sponsored poetry on the tunnel between 8th Ave and Broadway. Better to say, “Why bother? Off yourself in the Hudson, only eight blocks west.”

***

Seriously, shorts and t-shirts. What, are you people insane?