The other night I saw elephants walking through the streets of Manhattan. This was not Jumanji or I am Legend or Dr. Seuss. We knew they were coming and we lined the barricades in anticipation.
We waited for what some said was too long, but I think elephants in Manhattan are worth waiting for.
Eventually, after midnight, when most of the city oscillated in slow night rhythms, the elephants emerged from the Queens Midtown Tunnel. They walked east in a line, tail to trunk, the centerpieces in a quick moving stream of people and cars and caravanning horses. Seven elephants walking down 34th Street amidst numerous attendants. Police had cleared the streets of traffic; there was not a pith helmet in sight. Camera phones and cameras just flashed; people cheered and waved; the elephants responded by drawing their trunks along the pavement and hurrying along.
And then before you could shake a stick and call it dancing, they were gone. Off to Madison Square Garden, home to the circus for a fortnight. It was, like many others, a New York spectacle exciting, brief, and full of controversy. Even just knowing that it happens - like Burning Man, like the tides in the Bay of Fundy, like the monarchs' migration, like the Staten Island Ferry - is enough to bring a bit of sunlight into any grey day. To think that I saw it on 34th Street...
(photo above from http://flickr.com/photos/dlogsdon/)