I attended a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house on Sunday.
What I didn’t expect was the sauna and steam bath that came along with a small living room crammed full of people. This is what happens due to poor planning. A disaster. The whole place turns into a fucking sweatbox. If he invites me next year, I’m showing up in a bathing suit. I’m also bringing a fan and a cooler full of ice cubes. Then, maybe he’ll get the message.
Keen’s Steakhouse has been open since 1885. It’s the second-oldest steakhouse in New York City.
I had the chance to dine there last week for the very first time. Joining me were several dear friends, some of whom I’ll tell you more about.
First, a little more about Keen’s.
Located in midtown Manhattan, this is the quintessential power restaurant.
Things are really looking up.
One reason is because I somehow managed to get out of New York City just in the nick of time, before a blizzard buried the city in snow.
What follows here are a few random shots I snapped with my smartphone while walking and driving around during my final day in Manhattan.
….a pugilist with an authentic desire to win cannot be knocked out if he sees the punch coming, for then he suffers no lack of communication. The blow may hurt but cannot wipe him out. In contrast, a five-punch combination in which every blow lands is certain to stampede any opponent into unconsciousness. No matter how light the blows, a jackpot has been struck. The sudden overloading of the victim’s message center is bound to produce the inrush of confusion known as a coma.
— Normal Mailer in “The Fight” (1975)
New York City has a smell all its own.
Not a bad smell.
A smell — smell.
More like a smell of pungent punches.
We all need a park.
Each of us requires our own particular park bench, that profoundly personal place where we run off to, that temporary asylum away from it all, that emotional hideaway uniquely our own, that haven assuring some calm and comfort when we need it most.
Everyone’s park bench is a different place. Some places are real. Others are a state of mind. For our parks need not be shaded by giant elm trees, nor blanketed by green grasses, nor lined by wooden benches tempting us with free therapy.
A quiet room. The inside of a car. A morning shower. A private office. A man cave. A visit to a friend. A barstool. A favorite song. A walk or a run. A daydream. These things have become alternatives to sitting in parks in most of our daily lives. These are the far more practical and convenient, and for most of us the irresistible destinations we come to covet, granting us those rare moments to recharge physical batteries and nourish emotional sustenance.
Park benches and all its modern surrogates should be conduits for pursuing, if not achieving, mindfulness.