The last time I went to New York, I looked up a lot and took hundreds of photographs of skyscrapers.
This time around, I looked more to street level and listened at all the teeming life around me on the streets of Manhattan.
A woman on a bus re-telling her love life story to a stranger, specifically her second husband: "He was strong and tall and handsome and shit so I had to marry him."
A young Asian-American man sitting in a park answers his phone: "Hey, I'm good. I'm sitting in Union Square writing in my journal, I've had a soy latte and I'm enjoying this beautiful fall day in New York."
On the subway, a labourer with hard hat and clothes stained with paint and cement wearing three large rings on one hand, one silver and chunky, one like Darth Vader's head, one polka-dot and glittering.
Two men in Central Park discussing where to park their cart.
"I'll go in the middle lane."
"But you can't clog up the middle lane"
"Well, you're funny as hell!"
A man outside a courthouse trying to be restrained, but jumping up and down shaking his fists above his head saying "yeeeeaah man I can't believe I got that lucky!!"
Two fire engines and a police car trundle along 9th Avenue with their sirens set to a low plaintive wail (like you'd imagine a banshee to have), prompting a dog to howl with them, prompting its owner to straddle the dog and try to calm him, prompting a German couple to look and enthuse "beautiful dog".
An elderly woman with her little granddaughter are transfixed watching a man play a Chinese musical instrument. A wobbly old dude cones along and starts doing a silly dance. It's all taken in good humour. (He'd get a slap in London.)