My absolutest favorite public place in New York is the park inside this government regulated housing in Chelsea.  A lot of old people live in this housing and although there is a playground, the general feel of the park which is easy low-key energy.  I’ve read there a lot, eaten lunch there a lot, dragging people there after a trip to Whole Foods or visit to the movie theater.  My most recent excursion to the park was in March with Maya, actually.  I can’t really go into what happened then, but it was pretty funny.

Five or six years ago Peter came to town.  Peter’s visits occur once or twice a year and are usually a surprise.  Every time I wondered at how easy it was to live in the same state yet feel as if we were miles apart.  I never did manage to make the trek up to see Peter, and I do have some regrets.  I’m all for upstate, but I guess I’ll have to wait until I have my summer home before I get to experience its beauty again.

Anyway Peter and I were sitting on the grass, perhaps because we couldn’t find an empty bench in the park and this old lady with striped stockings came up to us and began screeching that we should get off the grass.  I recognized her because at the time I wroked around the neighborhood and ran into the same old women over and over again, pushing their walkers or carriages around the neighborhood, lipstick on, determinedly facing down life another day.  This one always seemed a bit cuckoo to me.  It may be because her hair, as I recall, was out and wild-looking.

I assumed she had died but I actually saw here again this year.

I love that area of Chelsea, 23rd, 22nd, 8th,9th.  I remember when I first interviewed there and told my Mom how “cool” I thought the neighborhood was because the buildings weren’t high and you could relax.  Also there was a New York Sports Club nearby, just like home.  Chelsea reminded me of Central Avenue in Yonkers.  Little did I know how much time I was going to spend in Chelsea.  It hasn’t changed that much, though like with my own neighborhood, any time a store moves out, a more expensive store moves in.  Also there are crappy restaurants there.