Here’s what Frank’s been up to in New York…
I was in New York last week, so I took the opportunity to pay homage to Elizabeth Smart by sitting down by Grand Central Station and weeping. This is easier said than done, for 42nd Street, on to which the great railway terminal debouches, is an extremely busy thoroughfare, and the sitting weeper is at risk of being kicked, shoved, and cursed at by hectic busy metropolitan types. Pleasingly, however, New Yorkers seem to have a more developed sense of pedestrian spatial awareness than their counterparts in London, effortlessly steering clear of each other without bumps and jostles.
There is also the chance that one might be mistaken for a crazy street person, though there are remarkably few of these in Manhattan, the majority having been bussed out of town by Rudy Giuliani during his mayoralty to some undisclosed upstate location, never to return.
Having spotted a suitable spot to hunker down in, I sat, and tried to weep, but the tears would not come, in spite of the icy wind. For what should I weep, in this majestic city? And then I summoned to memory the plaque on the gate of the Ancient Playground slap bang next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the edge of Central Park, where I had been the day before. I considered the plight of New York’s ruptured and crippled of a century past, and the mercy and succour given to them, and, reader, I wept.