Monday, February 16

KT @ Diner

Another day, another omelet. Here we map out her work-day and discuss strategy. My morning otherwise begins at the Riverbank State Park in Harlem where I head at the crack of dawn to swim laps in their fabulous 50-meter pool (another one - last time it was Asphalt Green on the Upper East Side). The sports center on 28-acres (bigger then Columbia with 21) and 21-meters above the Hudson River from 137th to 145 Street, on the West Side Highway. To get here, I cross one of two connecting bridges over fast moving traffic which is a bit worrisome but once on the island I feel completely free of NYC though the skyline ever-present. I also learn that this the only state park in Manhattan, and since space is dear, dear reader, it is built over the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, which processes 125 million gallons of wastewater every day when dry and designed to handle up to 340 million gallons a day when the weather is wet. Only in New York. The plant was imagined in the 1950s and completed in 1991 after presumably working its way up the Hudson until it found Harlem, offering (I imagine) the least civic resistance. In return, they got a good park.

So at 7AM I enter the Aquatics Center to find a black receptionist who tells me I must have A) a swim suit and B) a lock. Since I don;t have B, she directs to buy one, which I do. I tell her I need a back-up plan for the combo, which I will surely forget, and ask her to write it down behind her desk. She looks at me warily. I swim 2500 meters and on my way out, tell her: "you can relax." She breaks into a huge grin and "you remembered the combination" and we both crack up and wish each other a good day. There is magic in these little things that make others happy.