Lower Manhattan 16th September
After the creative energy of my first few days; feeling invincible, strong, capable, I am now seriously tired. I start to look at the subway map for stations with disability access – and walk to them rather than carrying up and down like I was at the start. Walking around the city is fine, but using transport – going further afield – is a challenge. When I do carry up and down I start to imagine the worst – it is hot and I feel light headed – what if I were to faint half way up a flight of stairs? Or miss a step and trip and fall. I am reminded again of Joe Lee Vergunst’s writing about trips and slips and falls. I think back to my experience in Huntly – and of my imagining-of-the-worst there – in Scotland it was slipping down banks into fast moving rivers, or getting stuck trying to cross the dual carriageway, here it’s the fear of a tumble down stairs. Somehow thinking these worst case scenarios through enables me to continue – to grip tighter, think about bracing, about holding the pram across my body so that if I fell I would cushion Astrid’s fall. Having a plan helps. I travel into lower Manhattan again to meet up with friends, down and down and down the stairs, then up and up and up again. I manage to enjoy a walk through the grid, from Wall Street to Canal Street, moving mostly through tourists, mostly with ease.
The obstacles I encounter are around dropped kerbs – puddles hiding lumps and bumps – or where there is building work and pedestrians are redirected. At Canal Street I succumb to the heat and the elevator into the subway, and carry on from there underground.