New York City, October 24, 2013

★★★ Little leaves and the sharp shadows of little leaves swirled together on the pavement. The toddler, in a hoodie over a hoodie, insisted on riding his scooter to preschool, through the deepening cold toward the river, bearing down on an oncoming sun-struck pedestrian. People seemed to be walking in the sunny half of the sidewalk under the scaffolding. Scarves were out, scarf after scarf in the train car. The clouds in the afternoon sky were attractive cumulus, well spaced and a little elongated. The late light attended to the faces of the buildings like a preservationist. A child wore a stiff pale vest that looked like sheepskin, over a color-saturated dress, an outfit from an income bracket so distant as to constitute a foreign tribe. Leg muscles ached a little from the cold, and a thumb slipped drily and helplessly over the Metrocard nestled in its wallet pocket. In the night, on Broadway, the air was too clear to trap any light, and the leaves were still thick enough to blot out the street lamps.