Six and seven-story brick apartment buildings with rusted fire escapes climb up from every sidewalk. Most windows have bars stretched across them, locked from the inside, others just have dirty blinds and occasionally, flower pots. A parrot in its cage pokes out of one saying, "Good morning," and "Have you been a good birdie?". Later, "Dang." I try to whistle back and a wrinkly woman with a little dog gives me a dirty look, and I stop. Pigeons schlep along the few ledges without spokes, some teeter across the electric wires spanning between complexes—others peck at their feathers down below, and all of them SHIT everywhere, including, just a moment ago, upon an old mustachioed Armenian—who, while watching his portable television on a balcony, leaned back in his Adirondack chair and swatted at the white blob plopping just then onto the back of his collar.
There are a surprising number of tasteless "luxury" cars lining the street today (see baby blue BMW convertibles) for the (boring) white, lavender shorts wearing mid-life-crisis types. The sports bars are visible from here with signs that all read "Ladies Night!!", which apparently occur every night, but I only ever see the same type of beer bellied oaf and his hairy, sweaty friends standing around, all tucked and stuffed into slacks and polos and tennis shoes, huddled around the game or rarely, a desperate female. There are a myriad of spas on the block (I’m counting four from here), advertising such amenities as massages and waxing and manicures and pedicures and microdermabrasions and laser hair removals and one other thing that starts with “anal” but the text is blurred and I cannot make out the rest.
Brunettes with bleached hair scurry out from beneath awnings on a rainy Sunday, shifting their weight between cork wedges, screaming incoherencies into their blackberries, motioning for their drivers and rolling their eyes at each and every annoyance the rain and inanimate objects steadily generate for them. "Rosie is fine, no really, she's really fine, she’s so sweet, it's just--oh my god, when on Earth will I find time to train her, doyaknowwhat I mean I'm just like, UHHG!! Okay so put things back where they go, feed the kids, it’s not rocket science amiright? You know I would do these things myself if I had the time, I mean, we can’t do it all the way you do" and so on. Jamaican nannies walk in pairs and push strollers and scrunch up their faces at their phones, a greasy man with bright red suspenders pulls a cart filled with newspapers, a red head in a Starbucks apron drags the trash across the curb. A man with a long ponytail on 1st Ave stands outside a locksmith smoking a cigarette, and later, falls asleep in the denim sofa dropped by the corner, his fly open.
Construction workers—permanent fixtures on every street, never working, always leaning against their trucks, laughing, grabbing their crotches, holding beers with sweaty hands—they puff up like monstrous, repugnant birds of paradise, trying desperately to get the attention of a girl in a skirt who rushes past them with her head lowered.