Back in the New York Groove

I’ve been absent on this page for a couple of months now. I apologize. But I’m sure you all have had your routines and activities change this year. And sometimes it’s even things we love fall by the wayside. In my last post, I addressed the fact that I was not reading as much as I usually do once I started working from home. Following that post, I made more of a concerted effort to read, and I did finish a few really good books. My mother, a couple of friends, and I even started a virtual book club! It still wasn’t as much as I would normally read, but it was more than I had been doing in previous months. And now, I’m back to commuting (more on that in a minute), so I hope to pick up the pace even more. I doubt I’ll make my Goodreads goal for the year, but at least I’ll get closer.

Writing is another love that fell by the wayside as a result of the pandemic. Well, not entirely. But this blog did suffer. During the four months of teaching on a virtual platform last spring, I wrote alongside my students. We were all entering a new edu-verse and needed to explore it together. But that kind of writing is different from my stories, poems, and blog posts. At the end of the school day, which extended quite a bit longer than the normal school day, I was too exhausted to write more. But summer was coming, and by golly I was going to finally finish that novel!

Until I slipped, fell, and broke a rib. Ouch. And more ouch. It really did take two months of not doing much to heal.

But, you might say, you don’t use your rib to write. True enough, but the pain of breathing with a broken rib kidnaps your concentration. And the desk chair seemed suddenly to be made of nothing more than open springs competing to jar my broken body. (Slight hyperbole here, but I like the sentence!)

But now, I’m back, as the title and the song says, “back in the New York groove.” My school is going with the hybrid model for now, so I’m back on trains and subways and commuting into the City every day. The trains are less populated and most people wear masks, but we’re back. And so I’m reading and writing again!

Today I also took my first walk across Central Park in at least six months. That was a treasured part of my afternoon commute which I lost when we started working from home. Today, there were fewer people, and more people felt (foolishly imho) freer to remove their masks, but not so many as to make the trip unpleasant. In fact, the former point is particularly nice when you’re walking through a usually crowded area, like above Strawberry Fields where the John Lennon “Imagine” mosaic is located. I’ve never taken a picture of it before because it is always swamped with tourists.

And as in pre-pandemic times, there is always something interesting going on in Central Park. Maybe this display is a holdover from the virtual New York Fashion Week which ended yesterday. I didn’t go close enough to find out.

All around the park, the flowers were blooming and the lamps were lit though it was just about 3 o’clock. Bethesda Fountain, another popular tourist spot, wasn’t entirely empty, but I still had a pretty clear view for a selfie!

It was a good walk that I look forward to taking many, many times in the future, and maybe even one day, I won’t even need a mask!