Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the Cruise

Back in 2008, my English teacher, Mr. Curtis, showed us a documentary called “the Cruise” about a New York tour guide named Timothy “Speed” Levitch.

Through Timothy, we were introduced to the city who teaches patience and other lessons and about the “cruise.”

In coming to New York, this tour was, really, the only thing on my list of things I wanted to do.

In just a short series of emails I learned that, seridiptously, he was giving tours the week I was to be in New York. I chose the Tuesday tour at 7 PM of Greewich Village.

At 6:24 PM, I arrived at Washington Square Park.

The sun was just starting to lower, turning everyone that crepuscular golden colour and making every moment reek of nostalgia. The park was occupied in a way that Robert had described New York. Benches were filled and all over the lawn sprawled collections of students, lovers, and entertainers. A man yelled out, “You're beautiful,” to me and I declared it right back.

At the local “Asian convenience store” (as was it titled) I grabbed some kimchi, fried rice and an egg and ran back to the park to enjoy it in the last sunlit hour while I absorbed the serenades of ambitious artists.

At 6:55 PM, I started to circle the arch, where we were to meet. I noticed a couple doing the same and assumed they were waiting for the same reason as I.

At 7 PM, prompt, a man looking like a Timoth Levitch walked towards the arch and we made eye contact. I grinned. He grinned. I told him who I was and we were set to go.

Timothy was even more personal than I had imagined he would be. He asked as many questions as he answered as we all arrived. We had a group of four of us touring New York that evening. There were three locals who had been raised and still lived in New York. Then there was me who had come from Alaska.

During the tour, we were educated and our minds were expanded. It was a mixture of history, antidotes, and philosophy all weaved together by our guide. We admired the a fire hydrant and the hanging elm in  the corner of the park.

Afterwards, we went to _________ , an Italian bakery (where they actually spoke Italian – just like the waitress spoke French at the French restaraunt we went to for brunch) to hang out – the after party. Iced coffees and teas were ordered along with biscotti and croissants. We skittered to the back, dark patio that wasn't lit anymore.

In that back patio, I got to experience a bit of community, something I always desire when visitng a new city or town.

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