Crowds, an ethnic stew. A melange of spices, fresh produce and the smoke of meat over flame compose the sensory refrain. Exhaust notes from creeping cars prowling for perfect parking and bright chatter are the grace notes. The River Market transforms itself on weekends. It evokes the spirit and tradition of the bazaar; the center of social life and commerce in more rustic places. The rough and simple way of living that depends upon a more direct connection between food and people than we are used to. Prowling between peeling wooden benches filled with flats of ripe fruit and vegetables and hearing the lilt of different tongues adds just the right accent to a Saturday. It’s a reminder that despite living in the heart of the U.S., the world will still come to us, if we let it.
I love New York. Strolling through the neighborhood streets of Tribeca, walking past trendy cool boutiques along back alleys; great bars that appear to spring up overnight to great success and then are gone just as suddenly. The swooshing cars and screeching tires of traffic; streets busy with people at all hours, steam curling from manholes.
Weddings seem to occur spontaneously.
Walking down a busy sidewalk in the middle of the day, one suddenly catches a flash of white through the crowd. Walk a little faster and it’s an entire wedding party, bridesmaids and bride alike dressed in white. Men in starched shirts and crisp ties. Limousines parked at the curb. Photographers looking for opportune shots. They are rushing to the church, or photo session or reception. Walking hurriedly down the sidewalk, parting the crowds, starkly beautiful amidst the uniformity, then blending into them, until they disappear from view.
We ran into a wedding party in Central Park, on Bow bridge near the lake. The park is a popular place for weddings and wedding parties for obvious reasons–the beauty of the trees, water and bridges make for spectacular locations for a ceremony.
The bridge was strewn with rose petals, the wedding attendees, musicians, bridesmaids and parents all standing and waiting for some unnamed guest who was just a little late.
As groups of people enjoying the park’s fall air thronged past, the bride grew impatient…..
We didn’t stay long enough to see whether anyone finally arrived in the nick of time, but for me that late autumn afternoon, the dynamic city and the antsy bride are three things that continue to define New York.