"Oh, oh, listen to the music, all the time"*

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on April 2, 2009 in Anecdote, Food, Technology, Travel |

While I was in New York City, I had some time to wander around (okay, hobble around…curse my stupid medial meniscus!). I was in the mood for a cannoli, so I hopped on the subway (thank you hopstop.com) and headed to Veneiro’s Bakery. There seems to be a lot of debate about where to get a good cannoli in Manhattan, but I’m not really that picky. Honestly, can a cannoli really be bad?

I bought six mini cannolis and a little kiwi tart-thingy. The tart reminded me of one of the desserts my husband and I had eaten at the beach barbecue buffet in Tahiti. Ahhh, Tahiti. Just thinking of it makes me so relaxed…

Oh, sorry, was I talking about something…oh, right, cannolis. So I took my pastries and headed back in the direction of the subway station. I passed a church that had a bunch of benches in front of it. Its gates were open and a sign said that the church didn’t close until 1:00 a.m., so I found a nice spot to sit and enjoy the weather.

I didn’t think to check what the name of the church was, but I managed to locate it later on google maps with their street view option. (It’s scary how easy it is to see real street views on that website. Is nothing private anymore?) I was at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery.

I had a book, my kiwi tart, and a cannoli. I had brought my iPod with me, but I found I didn’t need it. Now, I’ve noticed that a lot of my peers–and sadly those from a younger generation–are permanently attached to their music players. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPod. But it has a place and a time.

On this particular occasion, I didn’t need it. I had the music of the city to listen to. Someone was playing a harmonica. That I couldn’t see this person made it even better. It was music from nowhere, or maybe it was from everywhere. There was the constant chatter of the street: engines, horns, shouts. The shuffle of families, artists, wanderers coming and going. The soft coo of those rats-with-wings (also known as pigeons).

At some point the harmonica’s music stopped, but I didn’t even notice because a guitar picked up right in its place. Then a young woman came and sat a little ways in front of me. She was on her phone. Her tone was serious, angry, sad. “You’re just like lawyer. Always lying…I just can’t keep doing this with you.”

She soon left and a young couple took her place. They didn’t talk much because they were sharing a serving of what looked like fried clams. Still, the crunch of the Styrofoam container, their soft chewing and little murmurs reached my ears. The church bells tolled, reminding me I had a critique appointment and a bum knee that made travel in the city a slow process.

Alas, I had lingered long enough with my music. It was time to go find a new song.

*Doobie Brothers

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