Grr."It was the worst of times. . ."
The calendar tells me it is September 13th, but the thermometer spews "Middle of August." It is 92 degrees out and the city is seething. Everything happens in New York City, and sometimes, everything happens all at once.
This week is the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Bill Clinton's Global Initiative Summit, the local Democratic primaries and the end of Fashion Week. That means a few important people and a lot of people convinced of their own self-importance are coming together all at once within a few blocks of each other.
That also means calvacades of black SUV's. Sirens. Car horns that blare for minutes at a time in a long wailing chorus. Police directing traffic and yelling at pedestrians at every intersection in Midtown. The Police Commissioner described driving this week as "gridlock squared."
I went out to vote and run some errands this morning. My district's voting center is directly across the street at P.S. 58. However, what should have been a short walk turned into an arduous march. Within the span of just a few blocks, I encountered three heavyweight shouting matches between various groups of people and one fender bender.
A husband and wife in front of my apartment building stood nose to nose and screamed at each other while gesturing wildly to the open hood of their car. The engine sizzled and sighed as their eyeballs yellowed and teared with rage.
I thought about going to Central Park and reading today. But, there are times living in this city when you realize it is better not to be near your fellow human being. There are over eight million people living within 300 square miles of land. When the population swells with tourists and businessmen, it is impossible not to feel the prickle of energy that is ignited by such a convergence.
On days like this, the misery is not only palpable, it is contagious.