From my perch ten or so floors up a fancy office building in Columbus Circle, the dark night sky turns Central Park into a testy, rippling ocean cutting through uptown; the upper west and upper east are divided. The MET would be a cold swim away, or a shaky boat ride, and Lexington Ave. is inland. It's like the two sides are a world apart, different countries even, if we were in Europe. There appears to be an island somewhere in the center of the great divide; the lights of the boat house no doubt. The greenest green of this city has turned into an inky pool of black; and what lurks beneath?
When I moved to New York again a few months ago, I was somehow convinced that the Hudson River was an ocean. One night, I ate a pot cookie by mistake and had a heated debate with a gypsy cab driver positive and confident there was an ocean on one side of New York. The debate essentially ended in a simple statement; “Girl, how much you had to drink?” And then I started studying the maps in the subway a bit harder and accepted that the Hudson was in fact a river, though I didn’t quite understand how Manhattan was a river island, and anyway, I’m always inclined to sense an ocean to my left because I am a Californian.