At the end of the day, when all is said and done, family puts each other ahead of all other concerns. It is a bond forged for some in biology in others it is forged simply through a close bond. There is nothing more disappointing to someone who would place family ahead of all else than to have a family member not reciprocate. When all is said and done, family are the people with whom you share the ups and downs of the most intimate aspects of life.
Birth, love, marriage, death. These are the things we cannot escape and they are the weigh points of our lives. In our lives we will all be called to confront the human condition in its various forms. Our experiences with vacillate from joy to sorrow, from exuberance to anger, and through it all there will be people by our sides whom we will consider family.
Cayden Long suffers from cerebral palsy. His brother Conner doesn’t let that stop him from playing sports as an equal. The two compete in triathlons together, with Conner towing Cayden behind in a raft during the swimming leg, towing him behind his bike during the cycling portion, and pushing him during the run. Triathlons have been a great way for the brothers to come together and have made them an inspiration to everyone that hears their story.
By the metrics of time and place they have not won a single race. By the metrics of family, they are world champions ten times over.
I’m out walking. My goal is to head north on Greenwhich Street and arrive at 14th and 9th ( 2.3 miles ) to meet my workout buddy around 5:45. What is interesting about my walk is the incredible activity that fills Lower Manhattan even at 5am.
I usually encounter an interesting collection of a few construction workers and Transit Authority Police near the Path Station at World Trade. By the time I usually return at 6:30 to 6:45 this area will be alive with the changing of shifts. There will be conversations about money, girlfriends, wives, illness, friends no longer around. Intimate conversations out of context with the visual manifestation that is a ground zero construction worker.
I continue North on Greenwich Street.
To my left on the West side of the street, the yuck truck vendors are taking care to set up their carts. A few of the vendors will already be selling their pastries and coffee to a few of the souls who need to be at work this early. These are a quiet group of folks, they rarely acknowledge me as I weave my way through their carts.
On the East side of Greenwich fruit stand vendors are putting together their stations in total darkness. I wonder to myself if they will have to redo heir careful placements in the later light of morning. Perhaps they’ve adapted some sort of night vision rendering this unnecessary.
The northbound trip continues.
Washington Mark Park would be inviting. I say “would be” in the face of a strange sign. It admonishes adults not in the company of a child, they are not welcome. Playgrounds in NYC require you to have a child in tow to enjoy a swing ride or climb on a jungle gym. The city, in what can only be an attempt to stomp out Peter Pan Syndrome, has clearly taken the offensive.
From here to the UPS building I’ll see the occasional runner or Tribeca doucheois taking the walk of shame. This is especially true at North More Street. I find my self why here I usually see women heading north and men heading south. Perhaps it’s all just confirmation bias. Interestingly, the few exercise gyms I have passed are all dark.
Arriving on the north side of Spring Street the UPS building is starting to open up for what will likely be a busy day. From here through Morton things are usually quiet. There will be a few people sleeping in parked cars and some real estate porn that my friend Alexis has pointed out to me more than once. Real estate porn, for those unaware, is represented by properties that look unattractive enough to be undervalues but are in areas where some elbow grease would make them a great investment.
At Charles and Greenwhich on the Norteast corner there is the strangest out of place house.
One block north at Perry Street I’ll often see an eclectic mix of prostitutes, pimps and trannys. It’s 5:30 in the lower West village, do you know where your tranny is? [UPDATE: I haven't seen this group 2 days straight. I wonder if they've been run out of town. Thanks Bloomberg! Not every place has to be like Disney Land, you know? ]
I’ll continue from there seeing almost no one until I hit the cobblestones on the north side of Gansevoort Street. Food service workers are preparing for the day and the smell of baked goods permeates the air. In 3 more minutes I’ll arrive at 14th and 9th and pick up my workout buddy for our workout of the day.
I love this walk. I love the people I encounter. I love watching dawn overtake my stride.
I highly encourage you to try it sometime…