~new york minute~

August 2nd, 2017

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I decide to skip the subway and walk north from City Hall–I’m only going a mile or so, what’s a little rain? Fat drops land on the sidewalk, leaving wet polka dots the size of silver dollars. It picks up. My shoes start to squish. As I pass the 6 train at Canal Street, I hesitate. Nah, just walk, you’re not made of sugar. Moments later I’m huddled under a hotel awning with a couple strangers, watching umbrellas turn inside out and buckets pour from the sky.

A dude–30s, suit, entitled–slams the locked security door open and into me. He doesn’t apologize, just looks out at the downpour and retreats back into the lobby. I follow. He carries a giant black umbrella that features the hotel logo. It’s so ill-conceived I can’t make it out. I stand in the shadows in a growing puddle and silently mouth my best guess: NoMoSoHo?

The impossible lobby graphics behind him are weirdly prescient regarding our predicament.

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Another dude appears, also armed with that umbrella, and two kids in tow. He’s got a whole thing going on–gun tattoo on his left forearm, bullet on his right hand, chunky rings, LA hair, those ubiquitous cop sunglasses–especially ridiculous in the current weather. He’s a musician, or a musician’s personal assistant.

The kids are styled too. The elder, a girl of eight or so, wears tiny shorts and suede booties with stacked heels. Her bed hair feels considered. We all watch the rain for a long, long while. It lets up some, then gets much worse. “Let’s go to the Pan Cotiddion,” says the rocker dude, finally. “Where?” asks lil’ Jane Birkin. “The Pan… Cotidden.” “Where?” “That place with the tiny pancakes you don’t like.” And so they do.

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About that time it occurs that a lady might procure such an umbrella herself. I find the front desk and tell the man behind it the truth (I didn’t pack an umbrella and would like one of theirs), excluding the fact that I’m not a hotel guest. And just like that, I’m walking up Lafayette Street beneath a giant, silly design object (pictured by Basquiat’s door, for scale).

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