Kay Rothman's MapSites -
Putting Lab School Writing on the Map

56th street to 54 and Lex.

My Neighborhood Walk

There is a brisk breeze. My hair blows on my right cheek and I squint as I push to keep walking. There is a handbag store with dull lights. I am not sure how people can work in that environment. The smell of the store is leather, thick leather. Then the fresh smell of bread fills the air. I hear the mixture of cars honking and people talking. There are about 10 people in Subway© but it sounds like 20. The honking to my right sounds as if there are saxophonists blowing hard. Only it is people jamming their hands into the steering wheel of their car. The women I see are only tapping lightly on the horn maybe with just their two first fingers. It seems as if the men are more aggressive and are more determined to get by the light. I am blinded by the bright lights of the store that I pass next. It has a motorcycle right in the entrance. The loud punk music that blasts from its wide silver doors is drowning out the honks and conversations. The music is so loud I can feel the beats of every note in my stomach. I feel bad for the people who live upstairs… it’s open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. I hear more music but this time it’s sweet Italian music. It’s coming from a pizzeria around the corner. It seems as if the store perfectly belongs on this still, peaceful, relaxed street. There is hardly anything going on and few stores. There are many buildings and it makes it easier for me to hear the rustle in the leaves. I hear a dog bark from an apartment high in the air. Maybe that dog wants to get out. Maybe that dog just got real excited because the owners are going on a walk and might take him. Then when the wind blows again I can hear it whistling. The flags hanging from people’s windows are blowing frantically. Some are torn from all the wind and some are brand new. I immediately know someone is behind me because I hear their shoes tap the ground. I turn to see a woman. She is wearing high heel shoes and clicking loud. The birds squawk at each other like two bickering people. If this whole block was loud and filled with excitement in every corner I would be scared to walk here. There would be too much going on and confusion. However if this street was all calm I would also be scared to walk here. It would appear to be a mysterious place. It would be so quiet you can here anything no matter where you turn. This is what makes every block different except for the stores, of course!

The story was posted on 0000-00-00