New York City, December 4, 2012

★★★ Early morning rain faded out like an aspect of the departing night, leaving an artistically sunlit haze on the river. It was mild again. There was no excuse for hopping the 1 train for a single stop, to change at 59th. No good enough excuse, anyway, though there were the lingering puddles along Broadway, the sun hanging too low to reach the pavement and burn them off. Downtown was clearer still, and warmer. Was it worth keeping the coat on? A woman hurried past, her upper body rising from the band of her trousers in nothing but a stars-and-stripes bodysuit, or one-piece swimsuit, scoop-backed. Men in chairs outside the bookstore turned their heads. Indoors, under the flickering fluorescent rings of the stairwell, the sun’s green afterglow flooded the eyes. Yet even come nightfall, the leaves were still damply stuck to the sidewalk.