The next day I had an early appointment in the city and, as is my custom, I ate breakfast in Penn Station. Central Market makes a nice omelette, the coffee is good and there is such quick in and out activity at the tables that I don’t feel guilty about lingering and sketching. After all, everyone else is hustling to get to work on time, and, ha ha, I’m not. I chose a table that gave me a view of the people waiting while the eggs, six pans at once, were being prepared. It is fun to watch.

My appointment was for 10:15 and I had plenty of time to take the E train to Fifth Avenue and 53 Street which afforded me a longer walk but still allowed me to arrive early. While I was sketching the lady in blue, my name was called but I held up one finger, indicating I would like a moment more. Yikes. What a surprised, funny look I got from the technician – everybody is always in a rush she later told me – but then we looked at the sketch and discussed her little lamp that she has snazzed up. While I was waiting for the eyeballs to dilate I sketched the man in green and the same thing happened. I held up my finger. But now I was in different territory. This technician stood calmly because he knew exactly what I was doing.

I had planned on walking downtown to one of the parks I like so I could sketch some more but my eye was über uncomfortable (unusual) and, even though it was a cloudy day, it was so bright to my sun-glassed, dilated eyes, that I had trouble keeping them open while walking. Plus there was a bit of a misty rain that was either doing something or not, couldn’t tell, so I walked in the direction of the E train where I paused. I decided to walk down Fifth since I could always get on a bus if it really rained. I couldn’t look at anything so I just followed the crowd and stopped at every corner, made sure the light was green, and crossed. No eyes closed jay walking for me that day.

At 42nd Street I entered Bryant Park and discovered it was Fleet Week. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines everywhere. All sorts of macho demonstrations and music. For some strange reason I decided to sketch – I couldn’t see but this seemed like such a good idea. There were empty chairs by the carousel, I turned one around, sat, took out my book and, all of a sudden I realized the eye no longer hurt and a horse was waiting for me and a band was playing.

I left the park and headed to Times Square and found a pile of metal crowd control barriers conveniently located so I could rest my book while I sketched the tourists milling about enthralled and excited.

I dragged my weary feet back down to Penn Station and was glad the train was waiting for me.

**
(Sketched on site, painted later at home)

Repurposed folder, gesso, Pitt Brush pens (black and colored), Molotow White acrylic markers, Signo Uni-ball 153 pen.

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