. . . . Returned the first library book-books I've checked out since the libraries closed in March; looking forward to my next round of request hard covers, which include a biography of the Black Prince, and the most recent Tasha Alexander Lady Emily action-adventure-mystery-in-upper-class-exotic milieus.
Extraordinarily humid, though not that hot, but soaking wet. The last exhalations of now tropical storm Laura?
Among the extreme change from the last Saturday of August in 2019 and the last Saturday of August 2020: nobody is asking me directions in any language, including English; nobody is pulling luggage along looking for their Airbnb.
Still, here, the streets are filled in the West Village, SoHo, the East Viallge and quite a long ways north – because these are endless stretches of restaurant-bars, who have possession on weekends entirely of the sidewalks and streets -- vehicular traffic blocked off -- except for the killer bikers, killers scooters, killer skateboards.
But once away from this extensive strip – complex (meaning I can walk the extent in any of the four directions, reach the end of that direction and walk back home again within an hour and a half) -- well, once away from these stretches, it’s dead fred, retail all boarded up, until hitting another strip-complex given over entirely to the restaurants. People pouring in from all over the city and the country.
From what I see on people's plates -- we poor pedestrians have no choice but to see it all -- nobody is eating anything except burgers and fries, and occasionally red sauce spaghetti. I really am not seeing salads. What they are doing in reality is drinking a great deal of alcohol, from wine to exotic cocktails. .... The reek of burger and french fry grease is overwhelming throughout. The uncollected garbage and spillage equally so. Why anybody would want to sit in this miasma, especially in daytime with all the ugly unconcealed, I don’t understand.
There is no glamour here or there. It doesn’t just look trashy, it is trashy, like the most tawdry end-of-summer street fair you ever saw. How we’ve fallen since the days of first run Sex and the City, when my city turned into Them and Their city. Now those sorts have turned the entire nation into trash.
Tonight our apartment will be perfumed with fresh, clean and delicious basil and tomatoes, grown outside, in the dirt, when el V makes pasta tonight. That is as far away from the grease-reek of the streets outside as one can get.