Staring into the hollow, tiny eyes of a bronze statue, I stop to think for a moment. I hold the cucumber eel brown rice sushi in my chopsticks and then I realize.
I have no idea where the hell I am.
I mean, I’m on the island of Manhattan, and I’m staring into what I think is New Jersey, but I think that’s the best I got. I know I’m within a six block radius of my hotel, but I can’t even find my main landmark, which is the open skyline above Ground Zero.
I’ve been walking for two hours. I started by walking up Broadway until I caught a light, then I crossed the street. Following the crowds first one way, then crossing to avoid them at the next intersection, I eventually made it into Chinatown, where I decided to head back downtown to finish off my constitutional.
It was then that my stomach gave me some grief, as it often does when I’m traveling. It was then that I found something familiar in the sea of city blocks that, at least for this week, I would call home.
I found a Whole Foods. Hidden, as it was, in the bottom of a building, underneath scaffolding that hid the actual entrance. Picking up some toiletries and a plate of sushi, I headed for the checkout, which utilized a bank of fifty cashiers and LCD screens that indicated which counter to go to. Even though it was crowded right after work, either there was no line, or they made damn sure that one never formed.
Leaving the Whole Foods I found myself with a plate of sushi and nowhere to eat it. So I utilized my previous method of walking around the city until a light changed. Eventually, I made it to a small park, where I sat down.
I know it’s a shame, finding myself in the middle of NYC and eating prepackaged grocery store sushi. Sitting there, in what I would find out later to be Rockefeller Park, with a satisfied stomach thinking about everything I saw in the city over the last two hours, I think I finally started to get New York.