Two states, three boroughs, five stars

I'd like to write properly some day about why living in New York is so much better for me than my little hamlet in the Great Plains. I'd like to write properly, too, soon, (later today? tomorrow?) a review of As You LIke It at BAM last night. For now, though, a quick overview of what was surely one of the best days ever:

I caught the PATH to the WTC site. More than the grief attached to that pit, stark and unpitying in yesterday's frigid cold, I feel the exhilaration of ordinary life: here I am, on this train that just continues to send people into the city to their jobs on Wall Street and beyond. Rushing with all the adrenaline of the tail end of rush hour, I realized my luck: I was hustling not to work but to a large latte and an hour of reading Mrs. Dalloway in preparation for class today. All the pleasures of the commute without the mindnumbing job (or the salary). What a plunge!

On the subway, again, shallow flaneuse that I am, I was delighted to see one result of the C train debacle: part of the tunnel of the E is now illuminated by dozens of brackets, each holding six or seven incandescent bulbs: the tunnel looks now like a gargantuan Broadway dressing room. Absolutely enchanting!

I read, I went to the office, realized I was in good shape for classes today (oh! how cocky one is 24 hours before teaching--I'm not quite so cool this moment!) and called my mom for a good chat. Then, off to a talk and an embarrassing, anxious lunch with my betters. (Even on the best day, it's possible to be nervous and talk too much.)

I got a ride to yet another talk in the Bronx (borough two, if you're keeping track) where I heard an eminent academic outline the approach he would like young teachers and scholars to take only to feel how uncannily close it is to my own. Embarrassingly ratifying.

Then, MetroNorth down to Grand Central to a delicious rush of Connecticut-bound commuters--a whole different breed from the New Yorkers I usually encounter, complete with burly men selling low carb beer for the ride out to Stamford--and onto the 4 to Nevins Street (Brooklyn, borough 3), the BAM will call window, a quick cheeseburger at McD's, the amazing first half of As You Like It flying past faster than any ninety minutes ought, a quick glass of red, the plumpest, saltiest nuts ever, more Shakespeare (slow then dazzling and moving and redemptive) and on home via tunnels under the East River and Hudson both. Hallelujah.