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Thursday night after class I drove to Brooklyn. I’m still working out the best route – and taking suggestions, in anyone has them, for Albany to the far side of Prospect Park. Mapquest suggests cutting through lower Manhattan, but I get so lost it takes an extra half hour at least. I tried another route, through the Battery Park tunnel – except not, because the tunnel was closed late night, I wound up on the FDR heading north, panicked, but eventually managed to take the Manhattan Bridge (after a few illegal U-turns on and around Canal).

I hate NYC driving.

One moment of grace. Before the tunnel closed – before I got all turned around – I landed on the West Side Highway shortly after midnight. WFUV played something like modern lounge music, lilting and jazzy, tinkly and floating, like music out of Lost in Translation but softer and soaring. The lights bounced around the river. The apartment buildings crammed with people fled by, all around me millions of people going about their nights, the warmth of their lives beaming through the illuminated windows. The city was mine, the highway a silent rocket to the future, and the music lifted me above it all. It was a lovely moment, the kind that only comes alone, when a city quiets and you have a chance to appreciate the humanity it offers. Lovely.

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