Dylan’s house is now a sex shop. Times Square is more fiery and more apocalyptic than in Ti Jean’s day. On Park Avenue at dusk, the ladies in short skirts squat and eat takeaway food on the doorstep of the Waldorf Astoria, their dresses falling open across their thighs. Lady with a puppy terrier shouts “fuck you” at a taxi, in wonderfully NYC cliché. The porter looks at me angry for forgetting to tip.
The girls here check me out. Not like home. Here I must be interesting. Or at least seem so, though the waitress in Caffe Reggio is smugly ignorant, she smiles when I send across the vibes. Maybe she is in love. Yes, that’s it. She’s in love. In the old days I would have thought it was me. And I did for a bit. But the chick is obviously smitten with some bony-faced, tousled hipster afro artfag. Who cares? I have too many high falootin dreams to worry about affirmations. Though I do so like the serious girls in their sunglasses on the subway. Legs crossed, and I know they are looking to see if I am looking from behind those aviators. But they keep their lips tense, cool and shut.
The Village is everything they cracked it up to be. Even if they now have Emporio Armani on the corner of Spring and Broadway. Still, it’s worth the wander, down past the trees and the fire-escape tenements lined with worn ornate cornices, and on the doorsteps on MacDougal Street you can still find old angry hustlers gesticulating into the acidic distance. Its student town but the ghosts of dangerous bohemia linger. Relics of when music chopped like a flint blade.