I once lived just outside of New York City.
Had a job that kept me away most of the time.
But when I was around, I'd jump the train and head straight for Little Italy.
Would eat at my favorite restaurant.
Where the waiters were all men.
And the owner would come up to the table and take a seat.
Sing a song.
Then bring me a complimentary plate of Italian beignets with my latte.
Afterwards, I'd wander up and over to the side streets of Soho.
To visit yarn shops and vintage boutiques.
With a new skein in my canvas bag, I'd sit beneath the arch at Washington Square for a bit.
Thinking of the new scarf I'd soon have.
Trying to convince myself that at my next stop, I'd limit myself to only one or two.
Just one or two, I'd repeat.
But it never stuck.
Because the stacks of books at The Strand that I weaved in and out of.
Stepped over and to the side of.
Were just too tempting.
And so, I'd shove the new novels beside the yarn.
Which of course, weighed down my shoulder.
So I'd take another break.
This time, at Union Square.
Sometimes catching an open air market.
Glance longingly at the silver tree ring, once again.
The one the Asian lady named Coko designed herself.
The one she knew I'd come back for on my last weekend there.
Then, a straight shot.
Up 5th Ave.
To 40th St.
To lean against the stone lions.
And slip in a few chapters from one of my new books.
This was my New York City.