When we last left our heroes, your humble narrator had just gathered up his droogs for a little bit of the old ultraviolence a--
Oops. Sorry. Wrong humble narrator. Allow me to begin again.
When we last left our heroes, your humble narrator had just suggested a quick walk uptown to see the Flatiron building.
We headed back up fifth avenue toward midtown. It was starting to get dark, and we'd planned to meet up with Kathleen and Atom for snacks and drink, so we had time for just one more silly sight seeing thing I wanted to do.
"I really want to see the Flatiron building," I said.
"I really wish you wouldn't talk in hyperlinks," Anne said.
"Sorry. I'm a blogger. I can't help it."
"What's the Flatiron building?" She said.
"Oh, you'll recognize it as soon as you see it, " I said. "It's only about a fifteen minute walk from here."
I hate to disappoint everyone who was waiting for the hilarious joke about how it took an hour when I made a wrong turn and ended up looking into the Hudson, but the boring truth is that it really did take just about fifteen minutes to walk from Washington Square Park up fifth avenue to 22nd street.
The journey was not unpleasant, though I did notice an unsettling amount of big chain stores along the way. Maybe it's just me, but I'm getting really sick and tired of seeing the same twenty stores wherever I go. At least they left the buildings alone on 5th, though. In California they tear the historical buildings down and replace them with peach stucco boxes that invariably have a Subway, Jamba Juice and Old Navy in them.
A question for New Yorkers: What's with all the scaffolds? They seem as impermanent as the going out of business sales you used to see in the camera shops on Times Square before it was gentrified into a giant fucking mall.
By the time we'd made it to 22nd street, I'd gotten Anne accustomed to walking across a street when it was safe, rather than only when permitted by a stoplight. This is a significant achievement for a couple of California kids. Please send flowers and awards.
"Okay, we just have to walk up one more block, and then you'll totally recognize it," I said.
One block later, Anne said, "Hey! I totally recognize this building!"
"I know it's stupid to walk all the way up here just to look at a building with a funny shape," I said, "but since we never do authentically 'touristy' things, I thought this was a better plan than going to the Hard Rock."
We walked up into Madison Square a little bit, while I took some pictures. "Man, this is going to be called 'Wil's trip to New York where he took pictures of the Flatiron building." I said. I took a few more and added, "If I take many more, I think I'm officially stalking it."
(The pictures are meh, but I'm particularly proud of this one, with the crescent moon sort of hanging around and saying, "Hey! I'm the moon! Soy la Luna!")
I put the camera away, and we walked into Madison Square Park. It was just as exciting and vibrant as Washington Square Park, without all the damn construction. We particularly enjoyed all the dogs getting their dog park on, juxtaposed against the tons of people sitting on benches using the WiFi on their laptops and iPhones. Living in Los Angeles with a huge back yard, we totally take public outdoor spaces for granted -- and let's face it, most of our urban parks here are crummy and filled with hobos -- so it was cool to see so many people outside, enjoying them in the midst of the concrete jungle.
We meandered though the park and passed a couple in their mid-twenties, sitting together on a bench on what was most likely a pre-third date meeting. The energy and excitement between them was electric. Anne squeezed my hand a little tighter and said, "I love that I'm in New York with my husband."
"I love that too," I said. "I'm really glad we could make this trip."
Just then her phone chirped at her. "It's Kat and Atom," she said, "they want to meet up at Galaxy in a few minutes."
"You mean Galaxy?"
"I really hate it when you do that."
"At least I didn't do this," I said.
"You can't Rickroll me in real life, dummy." She said.
"Oh yeah? Ask me a question."
She sighed and put her hand on her hip. "What time is it?"
"'Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down never gonna --"
"Just stop it. This conversation isn't even happening. You're just making it up to amuse yourself."
It was true.
"How am I doing?"
"The real me would probably make a comment that's a lot funnier than anything you can come up with, and since you're putting words into my mouth anyway, I'm just going to say that you're handsome, suave and charming."
"Oh go on," I said.
"Also, when we get home, you should buy several classic game cabinets and put them in your office."
"You're the boss, dear," I said.
And that's exactly how it happened, I swear to jeebus.
Still more to come . . .