Day 2 in New York was much more relaxed. I spent the first part of the day turning the first draft of my conference paper, "A Transatlantic Poet, or My British Bifurcation," into the second draft, and I composed the bios for all the panelists. Mid-afternoon, I strolled up St. Nicholas Avenue to 180th and didn't see a single white face. The shops were offering cheap clothes, suitcases, etc. and there were fresh food markets on every street. I went to Taquiera Mexicana de Los Angeles for lunch, and in spite of the waitress's complete lack of English, I managed to order a carnitas taco (scrumptious) and a chicken tamale, along with the requisite Negra Modelo. Later, back at the apartment, I wrote a poem (day 7 of my spree complete), and early evening Lytton returned.
Lytton and I took a long walk uptown to a restaurant called 107 West, where I had a delicious chargrilled chicken breast with a wonderful spicy tomato-y sauce spread over the top, mashed potatoes, and greens. We headed back toward his apartment and stopped in at a bar called Coogan's, where, over one too many pints, we "set the poetry world to rights" (Lytton's words). It's such a pleasure to talk to a fellow transatlantic poet about the continuities and discontinuities between the UK and US poetry scenes, as well as update one another on our home culture's developments.
Today I've come to Midtown, where I'm staying at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers and enjoying the quality of it all.