Living in the suburbs, as I now do, I no longer have to contend with those things, and it is amazing. I can drive my car to the grocery store and home like a normal person, my kitchen (when it is finished) will have a regular sized oven and a sink that is downright palatial, and I am positively swimming in closet space.
But I haven't completely severed my ties with Manhattan. I still work here, and as I wrote yesterday, there are all kinds of headaches associated with my daily trip to my office in Midtown, particularly during this time of year.
But every now and then, I see something in Manhattan that makes me laugh like a loon, and makes me happy that I still have a connection to this crazy city that is unlike any other.
This morning, I was making my daily walk from Grand Central station on the East Side to my office on the West Side, and as I passed Rockefeller Center, preparations for tonight's Christmas tree lighting were well underway. The police were already out barricading all the streets from 47th to 52nd, people were already lined up to stake out the best spot closest to the skating rink where the festivities take place, and there was the usual crush of rubberneckers gawking at the still unlit tree.
As I made my way down 51st street, I was thinking dark thoughts about the tree lighting, and already trying to figure out my best route from the office to Grand Central tonight for my way home so as to avoid anything having to do with the tree lighting at all costs (side note: there is no best way. Every way is bad. Best to take the most direct route and prepare for evasive maneuvers). But my negative reverie was broken, when I passed the scene in the picture above.
Yes, right in the middle of 51st street, I saw a man holding those three camels on leashes. It was 35 degrees outside, everyone on the street was rushing to get where they needed to go and trying not to freeze to death, but there were camels in the middle of the street. This scene struck me as so hilariously absurd that I had to stop and capture it for posterity.
Manhattan may sometimes be annoying, but any place where you can accidentally bump in to camels on the way to work is a place worth staying connected to. Just saying.