13 December 2004
12:32 pm to 1:32 pm
Ending point: Chase Manhattan Plaza
Distance from home: 0.1013 miles
Literature received: Amazing Savings Stores flyer (“Now in all former Odd-Job locations”), Martin Busch Diamonds flyer (“Typographic errors are subject to correction”)
Coin: 2003 P quarter (Alabama)
I walked outside feeling dopey and sluggish, a sensation that I wouldn’t shake off for the entirety of the walk.
Overheard on street: “She’s loaded!” and “I thought you meant your girlfriend’s daughter.”
A right turn led me up to Park Row–and another right turn there sent me into the upper section of Lower Manhattan and then into Southbridge Towers. I took a long loop inside the Southbridge complex, then exited where I came in and walked south on William Street. I spent the rest of the hour circling around my local grocery store, Jubilee–and also visited the Southbridge Towers twice more for good measure.
In December, New York City becomes gray with little flashes of color: a bright coat, a Christmas decoration. Now I found myself so hungry, my nose was perceiving the city in the same way. Through a dull olfactory wash of exhaust and frozen bedrock, a panoply of lunchtime food smells were emerging: grilled meat on a cart, fried fish at a pub, roasted chicken from a sidewalk shack I’d never noticed before.