The windows in the county clerk were high up and big and dirty and they looked out onto a little street I had never seen before.
The little street was filled with trees and a couple of big statues and no cars and on the other side were big windows on a hallway in a big building. The people walking from one window to another made it look like moving postcards. Chunks of square rocks lined the side by the big windows.
In a corner of the little street, an older lady did Tai Chi by her shopping bags, then put her baseball hat back on, picked up her bags and made a cell phone call. A couple leaned on the base of a statue and filled out paperwork while giving touches that only a couple together for a while gave - the fixing of a collar, the patting of a hand, the leaning in of heads over mundane information.
Birds flew in and out of branches.
Where was this place?
Once released from the clerk's office, I ran around the building looking for it. There it was, hidden from the main street, this small stretch of Pearl Street and those chunks of rocks weren't just rocks. They were four fountains.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.