It’s midnight on the UWS in Manhattan, and Broadway is totally dead. When I used to live here, this neighborhood came alive on Saturday night. Now it looks like a hollowed out place. Every second or third retail space is either shuttered or for rent. I look up at the apartment windows, and most of them are dark. It can’t be that everyone is at the Hamptons. The Upper West Side seems desolate, as if termites have colonized the place, and turned it into a shell of what it once was. See for yourself. This is not the town I remember from the 80s and 90s. With all the homeless that come out at night, the place has an eerie mid 70s vibe to it, except that now all the endless tourist hordes you see downtown accentuate the sense of provisional phoniness. I have a return ticket to El Gouna in early October. I find myself longing for the desert mountains again, but then I remember my vow not to return to Egypt unless she is one day free. Thus I brood, looking out onto the dimmed lights of Broadway… Still, it ain’t so bad. When I lived here, it seemed like most every day there was a shit parade going down Broadway, and more often than not, I was its invisible Grand Marshall. At least that’s no longer true.

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