Shilpa Mankikar

Eat, Breathe, Dream Film.

Reel www.truth-force.com

nostalgia

sometimes i’m just walking around in a haze of nostalgia, the city changes so fast yet stays the same.  just 20 years ago, i was on the same looonnnng escalator at lexington & 54th.  the E to Queens packed with asian americans.  really one of the girls reminded me of myself in high school.  years later, there was that diesel store at the corner, where i bought a black and red tank top with my first post-college paycheck.  now it’s some other store. 

running in heels, heading uptown or downtown.  uptown to my job at the gallery owner’s office/apartment, in Madonna’s building.  downtown to Astor Place to Other Music.  or in transit at Times Square - a dump then, but it had its charm.  someone wrote poetry on the marquis of all the abandoned theaters.   enchanting edges amidst the grime.  i miss stuff like that in the squeaky clean new condo-drenched New York.  maybe some hipsters will just throw it back up for effect.  

that same ugly plaza at 57th st & lex, which looks like it should be a subway entrance but isn’t.  then i got stuck slowly walking behind 4 tourists, carrying the same old maps as they took up the same entire sidewalk.  then i passed a girl who looked like my friend who worked at a law firm on 3rd ave near the Lipstick Building…slaved away in a cubicle like Rapunzel before cell phones.  it made her hate new york, and she fled to the Rocky Mountains.  One of her co-workers worked so much, that they caught him lying about having a family.  he wasn’t closeted and covering up in corporate america in those days.  he was just a workaholic who felt like he had to keep up with others in the office who had a personal life.  New York problems.  she got a car service to drop her home at any odd hour, and we hardly saw her.  and her apartment was across the river from the twin towers.  $600/month for a brand new luxury 2BD with balconies and a view.  they took the ferry to work.  when all else failed, we would end up at Nell’s on 14th St every weekend.  come home reeking of cigarettes, because smoking was allowed indoors.  now places like that make my eyes tear up.  one time Guru from Gang Starr was there.  i was working so hard in production, i fell asleep through Velvet Goldmine on my day off.  just blacked out from several weeks of sleep deprivation.  our friend was visiting, and i hadn’t seen her in a year.  i heard it was a good movie, and want to see it one day…it was my first birthday in a van on set. 

today a man gave me his seat on the subway.  me - specifically.  he tapped my hand on the pole.  i must’ve looked like my feet hurt.  it was true.  i thought he was getting off the train, but he stood from 54th til i got off at 14th.  not leering over me in a creepy way, just standing off to the side in rush hour.  chivalry isn’t dead, i guess…or he just felt like standing…because later the train was almost empty.  the man who stood in front of me was like the real life Rainn Wilson in the Office.  i eyed him, trying to place his face until i got it.  he kept rolling his eyes to himself while clutching his briefcase.  i wondered where he works, and who annoys him so much.  I remembered getting on the train at world trade center one sunday afternoon, many summers ago.  the train was empty and this cute dominican boy sat down across from me and started chatting, asking me all these questions.  this summer is colder than usual.  it’s not sweltering hot yet.  the city is quiet at night, a reflection of the changing demographics, or maybe people just work at home or at the beach on their laptops.

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Purchase here: bowmont.bandcamp.com/album/hovering
click “BUY” for free download

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