Between the morning dog walkers and the plethora of food carts bearing logos with garish labels adorned with the title ‘NUTS FOR NUTS’ I found myself lost far from home, seemingly disconnected and at place in the same hurried breath. Smells of urine and feces and lamb burned into my brain, bringing me back to Berkeley. No, no hippy adored sidewalks here but something about smell, as unpleasant as it seems, and was (do not mistake), I was reminded of home. As I passed the Jefferson market garden, going full circle, I noticed the little cafes surrounding it, warm spring colours and was reminded of piedmont ave, between Oakland and Berkeley. I wondered if i waltzed in would I run into familiar faces, probably not. I could still smell the rich soil and wet leaves. I thought of san francisco’s botanical garden, the smell, sneakily similar but missing the tang of fresh fog that the city is constantly shrouded in. Nothing like home, everything like home. Architecture, red brick echoing Clear lake, but not like the cities i stem from, no. The melting pot, an amalgamation of peoples, that I am accustomed to, but construction work here sounds less like morning traffic back home than I thought i would, at least people look at you the same.
He told me he went to madison square park walked straight down fifth avenue. Said, the walk was insignificant, “just buildings and stuff”, said he could see what was, what had been before, what was being covered up, what had been a long time ago. A lot of the classic architecture stood out against all of the new storefronts making the difference quite apparent. He could tell that things had disappeared. A construction site, viewed scaffolding covering up the process of turning was into is, while the squirrels and parks nature clashed harshly reminding him of his home west. He mentioned coming upon a concrete pond, benches surrounding it. Standing out for missing something, perhaps a centerpiece, and bringing his trip full circle. The nature a symbol of vanished places, stuck in the middle of a concrete jungle, devouring itself. One thing being replaced by another and so on. A park becomes a relic in times like these, a museum of some sort.