December 8, 2022

I had to follow-up my annual wellness check with a visit to the lab for a blood draw.  One of the major impacts of the pandemic here in New York is medical staffing issues, so the medical complex that I go to outsources lab work.  I found the lab nearest my apartment and made an appointment this morning.  I decided to stop at the drug store after the lab visit, and the three spots, lab, drug store and apartment formed a right triangle.  I decided to walk the hypotenuse part to the lab. a distance of about .8 of a mile as reported on the lab website.

The lab is located at 25 Chapel Street, so of course all I could hear on my walk was the song “Going to the Chapel and I’m going to get married…”.  It is hard to slumber along when this song plays like an earworm, so my walk was brisk if not a bit jaunty.  But it didn’t interfere with enjoying the sights along the way, the new high rise apartments and office buildings that define Brooklyn as the new Manhattan.  I saw two relatively new sculptures (installed in 2016) at the base of the Manhattan Bridge and  later learned they are replicas of the “two grand dames”, Miss Brooklyn and Miss Manhattan.  The original sculptures were erected in 1916 at the foot of the bridge and were repositioned in front of the Brooklyn Library in 1964.  The Manhattan Bridge was designed to be a muscle, a work horse, a purely utilitarian structure as compared to the more famous Brooklyn Bridge just a few blocks away, and the sculptures were intended to spiff up the area. Miss Manhattan is all dignity, privilege and hubris and the peacock at her side represents immortality/eternity while Miss Brooklyn is gracious, introspective and calm. The new sculptures sit on high rotating pedestals and light up at night.

When working for Transit, I had an office at 25 Chapel, at the time, a building “good enough for government” workspace where there was always one outage or incident every day. The building is also known as The Howard Building or as we Transit workers called it The How Weird Building.  I mentioned this to the guy at the front desk of the new and improved facility as well as the technician and received glimmers of amusement.  I announced to my fellow elevator passenger that it took me 16 minutes to walk the .8 of a mile; he humored me.  I later calculated that I walked at a rate of 3 M.P.H. about half as fast as the average speed of a NYC bus.

After the lab, I walked down the one leg of the right triangle to the drug store and noted the prescription pickup only took 3 ½ minutes, a world record.  To finish the trip down the final leg of the triangle, I treated myself to a bus ride home and walked in the door less than one hour after departure.

I think my strengths here are planning, enjoying the sights, and researching the history of the sculptures.  It made what could be pains in the neck a very pleasant outing.