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A few Septembers back, a wayward raccoon took his talents on the road and moseyed on over from the Frederick Law Olmsted landscape he called home, Central Park, to live on the median of a two-way thoroughfare instead. I was aware of it for a few weeks, as I try to keep up with most New York raccoon developments. This raccoon had taken to eating the trash of a ritzy hotel on the cusp of the Upper East Side, the discards of room service eggs Benedict and french fries likely better than what he was used to at home. One evening in the weeks-long raccoon saga, I witnessed dramatic irony unfold firsthand: A woman rounded the bend of 57th Street and Madison Avenue, without giving the street corner a wide berth, and collided with the uptown raccoon as he was doing the same. The New York I miss cracks its own jokes.
The New York I miss looks like one giddy summer Friday, walking east to west on Canal, parallel to the traffic backed up the entire width of the island. Deadlocked between Mulberry Street and Baxter, I hear the Verizon van that hasn’t moved in bumper-to-bumper traffic for a half hour before I see it. Admitting its defeat, the van subjects all of Canal Street to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” blaring from its stereo, announcing the start of the weekend, the start of summer, the only way it can.
We’re collecting love letters to New York for an upcoming story on Man Repeller—to include yours, send a paragraph to email@example.com with the subject line Love Letter to New York.
Photo By Beth Sacca.