I embarked on a ship that crossed the waters. It took me away. I could see the city vanishing in a progressively distant glow. We passed by Liberty, garbages, boats and huge metal girafes walking along the shore in the horizon. The bay was colored in a rainbow of grays, browns and glossy blues. The wind was refreshing although coming from an unknown direction, changing its course every minute. When we reached the center of the bay, I no longer felt the desire to watch the disappearing city we had came from. Its magnetic skyline had suddenly lost its gravity force. I turned around and had a glance at the horizon. Through the buildings I could see it. The opening towards the sea. The smell of the eternally troubled reached us. I was no longer closed to the city, I was heading towards another land, closer to the edge.
The ship docked at what looked like an abandoned port. A place where nothing really exists but everything passes by. A space where nothing remains still but where things are carried away in an eternal transition status. Walking out of the ship felt like entering a dormant no man’s land. I could see buildings and houses but not sign of life. No emotional attachment to the structures. Like if the human beings inhabiting the premises did not bound to their land. Streets were empty. Houses were quiet. Cars were parked. I wondered aimlessly for a while. Entered a shop selling goods from another world. Back on the street, I followed the sidewalk line in search of a place to sit and rest. It led me towards a very calm street where shop windows were barricaded. It was hard to tell if shops were still trading but closed or if they were definitely abandoned. Some men were sitting on staircases guarding the stillness of life.
At the end of the street I saw a sign. The Book Cafe it said. I noticed the piles of books and old encyclopedias on sale and displayed outside, and walked in. It felt like I was far away from the city of millions. The place had this country side vide that makes you feel home. Things were out of place. There were books everywhere. Vinyles. Cassettes. Dust. People were sit on old school sofas, hanging out and reading. Enjoying a biscuit or a cafe. It felt like I was away from where I was only 25 minutes ago. That I was now in a place with no time. In a time zone outside the city frenziness.
My trip to Staten Island made me realized water is a strong boundary. Twenty minutes on a Subway is not the same thing as twenty minutes on a boat. Even is Staten Island is a borough of New York, it is not like the other boroughs. It is so far away in time and space. People living there are in a different time zone. And The Book Cafe is the perfect place to feel that impression of being far away. Of embarking on a trip that leads you to nowhere else than to yourself. Surrounded by your thoughts or great old school music. Staten Island vibe and the Book Cafe made me want to write literature.
Cross the water, walk in the void for a while, find the cafe, enter and chose a random vinyle to play. Enjoy.
They were all wrong
For the Earth is not round