I hated New York for a minute today. The rain poured down. I got soaked – the orange vest is not weatherproof, it turns out. Detritus from Popeyes and Burger King littered the gutters. The street sweeping machines just pushed the greasy paper all around, making it no less disgusting.
I went on a quest through a “grove” island on the west side of Webster Avenue at East Tremont because the Parks Department wanted a tree identified. I foraged in and found it, a Japanese cherry, standing dead and smack in the middle of what was one of the more unsightly thickets of street trees in the city.
I watched a man drag his adolescent son down the street, cursing at him and cuffing him on the head.
A shooting took place right at my work site last night. The bullet hole could be seen in a pull down metal shutter in back of the red oak I surveyed yesterday. The shooter stood where I stood. A group of five uniformed cops and a bunch of detectives parked themselves on a stoop there for most of the day, waiting for something to happen. I hoped it wasn’t going to happen while I was there.
So I was glad to get out of the Bronx by the end of the workday. I was hating it. But the thing about New York, it absorbs your hatred, it doesn’t mind, it’s waiting for you when you come back, when you come to your senses. And you will.