So I got to Jersey City early for my talk. Went for a stroll. Beautiful waterfront, with streetcars that take people back and forth; a much more charming place than I’d been led to believe. Lovely neighborhoods like in Brooklyn; brownstone rowhouses with stoops and all that. Had coffee in a Greek coffee shop where the waitress had tawny hair and dark skin and was very kind; wanted to know what I was writing. A couple of Turkish women were in one corner talking and laughing, a pair of French businessmen in black suits–not laughing–were in another. Lord the mix of nationalities on the East Coast. Never tire of it.
Wrote for a couple of hours in the coffee shop, then decided to go for a jog on the waterfront. Helluva wind. Passed near Ellis Island, with the Statue just beyond. Never seen them from the Jersey side before. Odd how close to shore they are.
Finished the jog hot and sweating. Took a nap beneath a sycamore in some park. When I woke a couple of Puerto Rican dudes were nearby with a pit bull. I went over to say hello. They nodded and grinned, but the one with the dog held him back on the leash. I gestured to let the dog come close. He said he shouldn’t, that the dog had issues. I said not to worry, that all dogs liked me. So I knelt down, snapped my fingers, and slowly the dog came forward. Sure enough, it had issues. Went for my freaking hand. I whipped it back and the Puerto Rican laughed.
“I tried to tell you, man,” he said. I told him next time I’d listen.
After awhile I went back to the coffee shop, to look at the NY skyline and write some more, and not think about the talk I had to give that night. The talks are easy, come almost automatically. I dig giving them, and inspiring the audiences. It’s just that I’m ready to start giving talks on a different book now. Well, that should start next summer.
Anyway Jersey was fine. NY was even better. Back to KC soon.