Ghosts of Old 42nd Street

Lascivious intent stalk the city blocks were women in short skirts and six inch heels walk. Naked ladies dance seductively in front of eager men for money; they dart in and out of dark 25 cent peep show booths, secretly. The scent of perfume and cigarette smoke lingers heavily; women of the night approach cars with dimmed lights. X rated movie theaters run films all night. The inebriated lean on glass windows under neon lights. Men and women use cocaine to stem the somnolence and numb the pain. Heroin users lie zombified in cheap dingy hotel rooms with dirty needles still in the vain. A prostitute walks down 42nd street in torn stockings, holding her broken heels, feeling the warmth of summer night concrete beneath her feet; she has worked for twelve hours straight with no sleep, under the sprawling glare of Times Square.

People eat in diners at 4 AM, and after two cups of coffee, through large windows listlessly stare. The scent and feel of New York City permeates the night’s air. The underbelly of the city are the fulfillment of licentious desires, addicts getting high, violence, tiredness, the pursuit of money, and sordid transactions. The drunk and homeless urinate on themselves, slumped over on subway platform benches. People wait on the train, with eyes bloodshot and lifeless. Another young lady heads to 42nd street, seeking quick money and excitement. The city blocks swallow you subtly in a matter of minutes, hours, or days. It traps you in its bright colorful lights. Out of towners languish for weeks, missing long forgotten flights. Uninhibited wildness leads to the exploration of long suppressed vices. Euphoria takes over.

Hunts Point Blues

She walks in the night’s shadows, soliciting customers as they pass by. There is a sadness in her eyes; a profoundly deep and troubled look, that only the streets could fathom. The years have passed by, and her once radiant beauty has turned into a weathered face, and aging body. The streets are cold and unforgiving, as it takes of her essence and leaves her destitute with no assurance of life or future happiness. She is lost in a world of drugs and alcohol as she sells herself to feed her addiction. Her heart is heavy with sorrow and her story is one of pain and turmoil. She stands under a street light and lights a cigarette. She inhales deeply and allows the nicotine to enter her lungs and invade her bloodstream. Her eyes show no emotion as she stares into the dark night. Eyes that scour blocks and alleyways for signs of imminent danger, while at the same time keeping a keen sense for potential customers as she makes her rounds on a summer night in Hunts Point. She can feel a piece of her soul leave her every time the undignified exchange takes place. After the deed is done, crumpled and dirty bills are given, while more than flesh is taken. Still, the night goes on, as shadowy figures move about on the rough and gritty streets. She seeks out other peddlers of the night to make another exchange, but this time she will pay for the euphoria she seeks; it has become a part of her now. She relies on it to make it through the night. The days wane and the nights are long. It lies dormant during the day, but it is in the night, that the streets are awakened with activity. The sordid cycle is repeated again and again; Faces disappear and are never seen again. The years fade away like leaves in the wind. Some familiar characters can still be seen walking on dark blocks, as the sound of crushed glass can be heard under foot. A look into their eyes, and the soul can be seen. In a moment’s notice their story is told.