★★★★ Slowly, with caveats and digressions, the sun asserted itself. The sleepy gray morning yielded a shaft of sun by departure time for elementary school. It clouded over for the two-year-old’s tantrum about leaving for preschool, then brightened once he was in place. The cloud above Houston Street at midday went beyond luminous toward numinous. It was easy to be out in the street, in sun or shade, either way. The iced coffee dispenser was out of order, and then someone thumped it and the iced coffee flowed again. Two cups, why not. In the early evening, a dozen or more pigeons flashed together in the sky over the 72nd Street subway control house. The basement-level hardware store had shut off its lights, but it reopened long enough to retrieve the repaired floor lamp. It was still a while before it would need to be turned on.