Thursday, October 26, 2006

Late night on Riverside Drive

I have moved house. I have been spending a lot of time on Riverside Drive -- this always-surreal street winds up the west side of Manhattan. It is a beautiful, tree-lined thoroughfare with grandiose apartment buildings on one side that look out over the Hudson River towards New Jersey.

By day, Riverside Drive is startlingly un-New York, I always think, not least because it twists and turns along the curving western edges of Manhattan, elegantly interrupting the rigid grid pattern of the rest of the island.

But at night, to my mind, Riverside Drive takes on a far more mysterious, enchanting atmosphere, where the trees, buildings, slender parkland and monuments seem poised endlessly as a fresh stage set each night upon which an obscure drama is always about to start. And you, or I, or any who venture out on to Riverside Drive, are quickly enlisted as actors on the stage.