At the end of West 23rd Street, sunset over Hoboken; the sky turns topaz, the Hudson River deep violet. Horns blast, and boats leave Chelsea Piers, their lights twinkling. It's Thursday night, and people are out. The Half King's sidewalk cafe is packed. Tenth Avenue is a combination of restaurants and shadows. Taxi garages ("flats fixed!") and shuttered storefronts. A "checks cashed here" place closed for the night, streetlight reflected in bulletproof glass, next door to a brightly lit bodega.
Clement Clark Moore Park, small and square, is dark; tall trees sway in the summer breeze, leaves whispering when the traffic light is red, the street momentarily quiet. 1840s Brownstones line the side streets. The High Line, a park by day, goes back to being a ghostly abandoned elevated railway bed by night. I remember being young, a different Luanne Rice.
It's August, no gallery openings. Usually Thursday nights are party time in Chelsea, but there's a sense that all the art people have gone to Montauk, Martha's Vineyard, or an olive orchard in Tuscany.
The cafes are lively, the temperature lovely. A constant breeze blows off the river, up from the harbor and the ocean beyond. Manhattan is surrounded by water. I could walk to Battery Park and back, loving the city and feeling my place in it.