NYC Day 5: Postcards From a Downpour

It was almost dusk when I set out, determined to get a shot of the skyline at a magical hour. But it was strangely dark for 7pm. When I got to the riverside park just a couple blocks away, a bunch of teenagers were clustered at its edge, pointing and yelping as lightning scattered over the top of Manhattan.

“Park’s closing!” a security guard yelled. “Everyone out of the park!”

Nobody wanted to leave. Shit looked exciting over there, beautiful. Cameras were poised at arm’s length, eyes squinted into the distance. I’d hidden behind some tall grasses. The guard peeked over.

“Park’s closing, ma’am, you need to get out now,” he said.

“Oh, I heard you . . . I was just leaving.”

Fifteen minutes later he’d be chasing me and the last belligerent teenagers on his riding lawnmower, screaming at the top of his lungs. What part of getting out of here did you not understand?

The minute they locked the gate behind us, the wind began, whipping dirt and small rocks into our faces. We all hollered, running. “Shelter,” some dude hollered, “take shelter!” “You better run faster!” The bottoms of girls’ dresses blew straight up into their faces: the streets were all chaos and underpants. It began to rain.

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