I took a stroll through town this evening after work: from Grand Central down to the Lower East Side, with a stop at Pete’s Tavern to have a drink with a friend. The night air was enjoyable, and it was good to stir my bones after sitting at my desk in the office all day.

It was good, also, to be reminded of what a vibrant place New York City is. I tend to withdraw, especially lately; I’ve had plenty of hustle and bustle in my day, and have little need of crowds and noise. These days I generally prefer the quiet of our wooded hilltop in Wellfleet to the clamor and din of Midtown, and when the weather is too warm for my liking — as it has been until this week — I find being out in Gotham’s congested streets rather difficult to bear.

But on a clear and pleasant autumn evening it was easy to remember why I love this city. New York comes to life in the fall, and I felt surrounded and buoyed by its bracing, positive energy. Young couples were everywhere, getting about the important business of enjoying themselves, and one another. Two old Cajuns were playing banjo and fiddle at Cooper Square. The Bowery, once a metaphor for destitution, bustled with upscale nightlife. And even the unlovely Lower East Side — Delancey Street, Allen Street, and environs — seemed warm and welcoming, and throbbed with life.

I guess there’s no place like home.


  1. “what a vibrant place New York City is”.

    I shall have to visit one day. I hear it is quite common for visiting Brits to be unable to shake the feeling that they are on a giant film-set — or better still, on the set of Cagney and Lacey. (I’ll have a quaarfee.)

    Posted October 17, 2007 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  2. “I shall have to visit one day”.

    Me, too! I have only been to America once and in planning my trip I remembered the words, decades old but they had stuck in my mind, of Alistair Cooke who said that if you are visiting the USA for the first time do not enter via NY – the place is so overwhelming it will colour your view of the rest of America for ever. So I went to Boston – an absolute delight, and then toured round New England – gorgeous in the first weeks of October (or anytime, I guess).

    But NY is waiting and one of these days …

    Posted October 17, 2007 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Well, gentlemen, no sense in putting it off! It’s a lovely time of year to visit. Drop me a line, and I’ll join you for a quaarfee, or even a few beeahs.

    Posted October 17, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  4. Very kind of you, Malcolm and a similar invite awaits you if ever you return to the ‘mother country’!

    Posted October 17, 2007 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  5. Ditto!

    Posted October 18, 2007 at 10:56 am | Permalink

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