I caught the 4 express from Harlem to Brooklyn Bridge and walked up to Chinatown and Dim Sum Go Go. Mission: dumplings. Inside, I sat and warmed up, waiting for my order. My legs inside my jeans asked me what the hell I was thinking, and what was so special about the torso that it should get five layers of cashmere and one Canadian thermal jacket? Even the head had two coverings, but the legs, the legs that must do all the work in negative degrees and advertised frost-bite windchill, these have only jeans.
What about the double socks, I reminded them. And the tall boots.
We left, carrying a fragrant bag, with extra green ginger sauce.
The streets were emptier than I had expected, on lunar new year's day. Perhaps because of the bitter cold. And this one had just been washed. I only realized that later, looking at the pictures as a group.
I still wanted pork buns from a joint on Bayard Street. So I walked west.
On Mott I ran into some late celebrations and evidence of the party the night before, and the parade earlier in the day.
And then a herd of streetsweepers stampeded towards us, creating a dust storm whose consequences my sinuses are still suffering.
We fled down Bayard, towards buns.
On the quieter street, no picture, I am very sorry, in the middle of the empty street, and past myself and four police officers, ran a girl. Young, blond. It took me a second to digest what was wrong: Barefoot. And legs bare to the mid-thigh where a black skirt began. She ran all the way down Bayard. I watched.
I bought buns. Then I walked back out to the closest cop, and asked if he'd seen a blond girl running. Barefoot? he asked. Yes, I said. Yeah, he said. Did she not pique your interest? I asked. Eh, he said, She's probably crazy.
Was their shift about to end? Seriously. Why not step out in front of her and ask what's going on?
I should have stopped her, and dealt with the consequences. Maybe it was nothing, but it looked like something. Frostbite, at the very least.
There it is.
New year in Chinatown.