Back in NYC

A view from my friend's new apartment

The view from my friend’s 17th floor apartment on William Street in Lower Manhattan.

My friend Katie flew into New York City to start a new job as hall director for New School University’s housing facility in Lower Manhattan. She called me late Thursday afternoon while she was en route from Seattle, where she was a residence director at University of Washington this past year, and said she had two tickets to see a “Last Call with Carson Daly” taping featuring a musical peformance by her favorite artist — and one of mine, Mike Doughty (former Soul Coughing frontman).

So I took a train to New York’s Penn Station. Well, between the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy hitting the area, the extra security measures in effect in the wake of the London bombings the previous day and wiring problems on the track, my train was running about 30 minutes late. However, I eventually showed up in NYC, met up with Katie at Penn Station, and we took the No. 1 train to 50th and Broadway. From there, we walked a couple blocks east to 30 Rock for the Carson Daly taping.

That was cool. Daly was unusually entertaining and the guest lineup was pretty good: Anthony Anderson, who was awesome as crime lord Antwon Mitchell this past season on “The Shield”; Vivica A. Fox; comedian Jim Gaffigan, who was hysterical; and Doughty. The show will air Friday, July 15, at 1:35 a.m. ET.

But after a quick trip to the K-Mart at Penn Station for a few things for Katie’s apartment, we took the No. 2 train down to Fulton Street for the quick walk to her building. We spent about an hour there and then took a walk to find a local grocery store that she had seen earlier. However, I soon convinced her to take a walk to Ground Zero — the former site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers. Well, after losing track of where we were and taking us about five blocks more than we needed to go, we found a map of the area and I realized her building is just three blocks east of Ground Zero. All we needed to do was walk out the front door, go west on Maiden Lane and then Cortlandt Street…and then we would have been there. We kept walking up that block and came to a plaza on our left. I looked across the plaza and there it was…Ground Zero.

That was my second time there and it just amazes and saddens me. We spent about 10 minutes there and walked back towards Katie’s building.

Anyway, if you look at the picture above. I realized today that her window faced the WTC twin towers, which would have dominated the background of the photo. That must have been an amazing site to wake up to every morning…and such a horrifying site on Sept. 11, 2001. Again, it amazes and saddens me at the same time.

[NOTE: Christian’s comment that resulted in this entry’s headline getting changed refers to the classic Peter Gabriel-era Genesis song, “Back in NYC,” off their epic 1974 double album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.]


3 thoughts on “Back in NYC

  1. I’ve been there too, and it is an emotional experience.

    I would have named this blog entry “Back in NYC”

    “so you think I’m a tough kid…”


  2. Good point…blog entry renamed.

    Man, I haven’t listened to that song in awhile…I only have “Lamb” on tape : (

  3. I figured I would finish off the lyrics…

    Back in N.Y.C.
    I see faces and traces of home back in New York City
    So you think I’m a tough kid? Is that what you heard?
    Well I like to see some action and it gets into my blood.
    They call me the trail blazer – Rael – electric razor
    I’m a pitcher in the chain gang, we don’t believe in pain only as strong,

    ‘cos we’re only as strong, as the weakest link in the chain.
    Let me out of Pontiac when I was just seventeen,
    I had to get it out of me, if you know what I mean, what I mean.
    You say I must be crazy, ‘cos I don’t care who I hit, who I hit.
    But I know it’s me thats hittin’ out, and I’m, I’m not full of shit.

    I don’t care who I hurt. I don’t care who I do wrong.
    This is your mess I’m stuck in, I really don’t belong.
    When I take out my bottle, filled up high with gasoline,
    You can tell by the night fires where Rael has been, has been.

    As I cuddled the porcupine
    He said I had none to blame, but me.
    Held my heart, deep in hair,
    Time to shave, shave it off, it off.
    No time for romantic escape,
    When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
    No time for romantic escape,
    When your fluffy heart is ready for ape. No!
    Off we go.

    You’re sitting in your comfort you don’t believe I’m real,
    You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel.
    Your progressive hypocrites hand out their trash,
    But it was mine in the first place, so I’ll burn it to ash.
    And I’ve tasted all the strongest meats,
    And laid them down in coloured sheets.
    Laid them down in coloured sheets.
    Who needs illusion of love and affection
    When you’re out walking in the streets with your mainline connection?


    As I cuddled the porcupine
    He said I had none to blame, but me.
    Held my heart, deep in hair,
    Time to shave, shave it off, it off.
    No time for romantic escape,
    When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
    … No time.

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