Walk #39


9 May 2005
6:59 pm to 7:59 pm
Heads: 62
Tails: 62
Total intersections: 33
Ending point: Battery Park, near the corner of West Street and Battery Place
Latitude/longitude: 40:42.17.13N/74:00.59.02W
Distance from home: 0.5347 miles
Literature received: None
Coin: 2002 penny (P)

To see a larger version of the photo above (which I recommend), click here.

I stepped out into the warm evening air; in the west, towards New Jersey, it was still light, but it was already night in Brooklyn and other points east. I’ve always loved that time of day in New York City. There’s something special about knowing that the nocturnal life is already beginning nearby and would be starting soon for me too.

I flipped tails six times in a row, and made several right turns. I passed by some not-very-graceful skateboarders. I went around the block; a few minutes later, the skateboarders hadn’t improved.

“What are you flipping that coin for?” a street vendor asked me.

“It decides which way I walk,” I told him.

He flashed a big smile and gave me a thumbs-up. “Beautiful!”

I drifted south, past the New York Stock Exchange, which not only had covered its fa├žade with an enormous American flag, but had found room to put up three smaller ones. I fully expected them to keep festooning it with flags until every square inch was covered.

Near the ferries, the buildings were shining brilliantly in the evening light. A jet airliner flew overhead, and I realized sadly that I would always find that startling in lower Manhattan.

My shiny penny took me into Battery Park, and I walked over to Castle Clinton (a Revolutionary War fortress, also used in the past century as an aquarium, and now a venue for concerts–a couple of years earlier, I saw a really good free Rosanne Cash show there). I walked through the park in circles of various sizes. Behind the Statue of Liberty, I could see cranes and other signs of Jersey industry. As it got dark, the park emptied out. There were a few stragglers, lingering in the twilight: fishing, making phone calls, looking at the sunset.