Daydreaming on Morningside Drive
(Photos by Bald Punk – Morningside Drive and Park, Manhattan)
The other day I was walking Scrappy Doodles on Morningside Drive, daydreaming that I was a musical prodigy.
I saw myself onstage at the Central Park bandshell. My bulky frame was hunched over a miniature piano. I played the “Linus and Lucy theme” from Charlie Brown. My thin fingers glided effortlessly over the keys.
The crowd was on their feet and dancing like wild cats. People were up in the trees. Occasionally, I threw my hands up high, just like Schroeder does when he plays the piece in the cartoon.
There wasn’t a person in sight on Morningside Drive. That’s probably why I felt I could get away with such a wild fantasy.
(“Linus and Lucy Theme” from Charlie Brown Christmas Special)
Plus Scrappy D and I strutted along with our heads high. This way if anyone from the apartments on the west side on the Drive saw us, they would know that we were los hombres duros!
Oh, here and there I might have been talking to the Scrapster. But that’s only because he’s a smart dog, and when he looks at me, I’m pretty much convinced that he understands. Yeah, pretty sure about that fact, pretty sure . . .
I lifted my head. There came a sustained noise shot that sounded like “craaa-aaack!” I was near the peak of Morningside Drive where the noises carry like few other places in NYC. That’s because it’s situated on a cliff, reinforced by a massive stone wall.
There are so many building projects in the area, plus the Columbia University kids are always doing whacked out stuff in the name of science and engineering–I didn’t give the sound much consideration.
“Craaaa-aaack!” came the sound again. It seemed to breeze over the apartments and treetops below.
Scrappy sniffed the nook between the stone wall and sidewalk. I gazed up to Harlem and beyond. Morningside Drive is a nice place to clear your head.
When next I heard, “craaa-aaack,” I found myself listening closer. There followed what sounded like the “whooo-ooo” of a crowd.
I spotted a student reading on one of the benches. I was about to ask, “good book?” when I noticed it was a textbook and that he was deep in study. There seemed little chance for small talk. So I came right out and asked him–
“You hear that?”
He looked up. “Hear what?”
“That sound?” I said, trying to give a friendly smile and not seem like a psycho. “Sounds like a bat hitting a ball?”
“No,” the student said.
“You don’t hear that?” I asked, a little excited as the sound came again. My eyes flashed to the Bronx that was a mile or so uptown.
“Sorry, no,” he said and went back to his book.
“No, wow,” I said and squinted, wishing I could see all the way up to Yankee Stadium on E 161 St. It was overcast. I thought that if it was baseball season and the Yanks were playing, the lights would be on.
I lifted my head.
“Craaa-aaack . . . whooo-oooo . . . “
“That was a good one,” I told myself. “A homerun ball.”
Scrappy D wagged his tail, and I turned to the street. A horn beeped. My lady friend(LF) and the pizza and Chinese delivery guys wheeled up in our not-so-late-model Camry.
I jumped in the back seat with my LF. Scrappy vaulted into her lap. We were going to her sister’s house in Greenpoint, which is always fun. Her husband is a Pole, who grew up on a farm in the shadow of the old Soviet Union. Few people drunk or sober can tell a story quite like him.
“What is it Baldie?” my LF asked, holding her chin high as Scrappy licked her neck.
“You mind if we make a little detour first?”
My LF gave a sweet smile, and her eyes twinkled.
I leaned forward and spoke to the pizza delivery guy who was driving, “Take us to The Stadium, I gotta check something out . . .”
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Twenty-Three – December 2009
Morningside Drive & Park (Pics only)