National Read A Road Map Day
Another day worth celebrating–I love maps. Useful, yet full of abstract and often mysterious beauty.
A few years ago I did a stitched map Sketchbook Project of Main Streets based on Google Maps. Google Maps are a mainstay of any traveling I do into unfamiliar territory. That softball field in Queens? It’s right there, along with the nearest subway stop.
There actually is a Main Street in NYC, and I stitched it (above right), but it’s on Roosevelt Island, the entirety of which has always seemed to me to be superimposed onto the five boroughs. The Real Main Street of New York City? For almost 40 years, I’ve lived on or steps from Broadway, which travels from the bottom of Manhattan to the Bronx and 18 miles north to Sleepy Hollow.
That’s my Main Street.
They’re digging up Broadway
at night the clatter of wheels over metal plates
provides a rhythmic accompaniment to music from car stereos
double-parked outside the 24-hour deli on the corner
Sunday mornings the finery of congregants mingles with
the dog walkers
and the finery of the refugees from Saturday night
Headlines announcing Politics As Usual
step into the street dance
the Daily News of space and Times
“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…”
blinking red hand
“They say there’s always magic in the air…”
neon green walk
Lyrics borrowed from “On Broadway” by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in collaboration with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. (The Drifters, 1963)
Thanks to Charlie at Doodlewash for inviting everyone to share his “month of days”.