One of my favorite public spaces in New York has to be the main room at Grand Central. Passengers headed toward upstate New York and Connecticut wait for their trains here.
With large windows letting in daylight and majestic stairways on either end, the space makes a dramatic first impression. Never mind the blue ceiling painted with constellations overhead. A couple fancy restaurants raised up from the main floor make for a fun dining experience.
Today Mark and I had the day off. We walked across the Pulaski bridge to Long Island City, then ventured up to Midtown for a delicious lunch and some errands.
It was a beautiful, warmish day. We're never ever in Midtown, so as we walked, I looked very much like a tourist. I usually keep below 14th Street, or at least below the 20's. Looking up at the skyscrapers all around made me dizzy.
I've gotten over looking like a tourist. In my early years as a New Yorker, I feared being mistaken as one and I took particular pride when people asked me for directions.
Fortunately I've gotten over my snobbery. It's fine if people think I'm a visitor, standing in the middle of the street, gawking and taking photos.
While walking down Second Avenue this afternoon, Mark said that he can't see New York the way tourists do. He grew up in Long Island after all, and is on intimate terms with just about every block here. This is where he used to hang out with buddies after work, that's where his grandfather used to bring him when he was a kid.
I try to suspend what my brain knows and remembers, and experience the city just through my eyeballs. The camera only helps distance you from the scene.