Thanks to some fortuitous circumstances, I found myself yesterday morning walking through a pouring rain on famous streets in Harlem. We–son, girlfriend, and I–were there to hear Hillary Clinton give a stump speech at the Abyssinian Baptist Church (you would know it if you saw it, from thousands of clips and photos). Thanks to those circumstances, we had a great seat, only a few rows from the front.
But what I loved was walking on Lennox Avenue, looking at the brownstones, thinking about the depth and weight and breadth of history on that neighborhood. I wondered where James Baldwin had grown up. Where the theaters were where so much music was made. We passed the mother church for the AME.
Afterward, we took the subway down to 14th street and found brunch in a little cafe. Eggs florentine and unlimited mimosas and young woman serving briskly and efficiently wearing a stunning yellow scarf over her head and chest and a strong Brooklyn accent.
I’m headed home this afternoon. It’s been a lovely series of trips, but I haven’t been in the same place for two weeks since the end of August, and I need to go home and download all this mental material and plunge into the new novel, which has strong characters but an elusive secret at the moment.
Meanwhile….I had a blast exploring new neighborhoods in NYC this time. Park Slope and the upper westside and the little sojourn into Harlem. Cool.