New York Suite
New York Suite is a love letter to this magnificent city, a celebration of people and places that captured my imagination during my first visit in 2004. Darling, How are you? It's freezing In Manhattan today. I'm curled up in an armchair next to the window, watching delicate flakes of snow gently layering on the fire escape. An eerie fog horn is blowing. I think it's coming from an oddly marked Boat On The Hudson, beginning it's slow crawl out to sea. I walked to Chinatown this morning and had a steaming bowl of noodles for lunch. It's usual pace was curbed by the inclement weather. As winter grips the city, poems from childhood well up inside of me. "When icicles hang by the wall, and Jack Frost blows his nails.' Do you know that one? I can't help feeling for the street peddlers and the homeless at this time of year, particularly around Hells Kitchen. How do they manage in the snow? You were asking about Ellis Island. I haven't ventured near it yet. It holds a strange spell. Imagine how many millions of immigrants came through there with their hopes and dreams and hearts needing to be mended. Remember Julian? I saw him again at 2nd Ave on Thursday. He was looking thin and dirty but lifted my spirits with his "Courage Mon Amie." He was busking in the underground and appeared to be doing quite well. I was on my way to The Little Church That Stood. I had been meaning to visit since I arrived. It's a wonderful sanctuary, charming in it's naivety, with pastel pink walls and sky blue ceiling. I was caught completely unaware by my reaction to the seats. There are intricate gouges on each pew, left by heavily booted firemen, stealing a few precious hours of rest during the World Trade Centre disaster. Tears began streaming down my face. I wondered what George Washington would have made of such viciousness. My piano hunt took me to Avenue P on Friday. It's a bit of a hike but I was rewarded by the best seafood soup I have ever tasted. The little cafe was practically crouching underneath the overhead railway. Trains were rattling by as nine Mexican labourers and myself were served by a buxom cook who didn't speak a word of English, but ladled out fabulous, mouth watering dishes. Five dollars a bowl, plus rice on the side! Somebody's Daughter jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend. My friend Steve was there when they pulled her out of the water. She was still alive but died shortly afterwards. Only about nineteen. What a dreadful waste. The Lady Of Liberty is just visible in the milky sky today. I'm listening to some weird, angular saxophone on the radio and watching a pale bit of light hover around her crown. It's beautiful and strangely sad. She is such a powerful symbol, but has she fulfilled the promise so eloquently expressed in Emma Lazarus' poem? The Met has become a regular haunt. Rodin, of course, moves me more than any other. Poor man, he was pursued by demons and Love Fish. The Burghurs of Calais lean into the future, their haunted faces forever warning us of man's treachery. You'll be pleased to know The City Sleeps - if briefly! The constant noise will probably drive you mad at first, but after a while the sirens will not wake you up. They become colourful background woven into each dream scape. Anyway darling, enough rambling. I will show you all my favourite places when you get here. I'll See You In Soho. We'll go straight to Dean and Deluca to indulge our senses and fill up on caffeine. Always, Meryl.