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Morning Spew

Escape from Manhattan West II: The Bridge

Our writer had vowed never to return.

(Hell Gate)

There was blood in the bathroom sink of Moynihan Train Hall. Our writer had stopped in there to use the facilities. Opting at the last second to wash his hands above the hair that clogged the adjacent drain, he stepped out of the bathroom and peered down to the lower levels of the atrium, watching Amtrak customers in suits eat at a sushi restaurant in the food court, and wondering how he ended up here. 

He remembered his vow to never return, looking at an advertisement for the food court, which promised New York's best bites. Despite narrowly escaping Manhattan West on his last adventure, our writer found himself unable to resist the call of the city's coolest neighborhood. He stepped out into the unnaturally chilly air of a June night.

But as he walked down 34th Street, passing 9th Avenue and going ever westward, the doubt was creeping back in. He recalled the neon pink of the tree that loomed over the High Line with its spidery roots crawling menacingly. But he knew why he was here: the opening of the Timber Bridge.

The last time our writer had seen the bridge it was unfinished. A ghastly promise of wood so blonde it looked like it was made of a god's toothpicks, it stretched from the promenade of Manhattan West, connecting it to the High Line. Just as he was shuddering at the memory, he looked up into the street sign that announced 10th Avenue with a start. He was there. It was time. Steeling himself, he stepped onto a ramp the size of a city block that he knew would lead him straight back to hell. He was ascending to the elevated platform, but he felt his soul going down.

The Whole Foods and Peloton logos glowed an eerie white through the evening gloom. Our writer ignored them, knowing what he was here for, and marched straight past the diners at Daily Provisions to the giant wooden limbs of the Timber Bridge, lined with unnaturally tiny trees, tourists spilling onto and off the walkway. He heard the bop of the pickleball courts below punctuate his footsteps, and his courage faltered, but it was too late to turn back now. The gate was open, the metal path that lined the floor of the bridge intentionally and gaudily rusted. He took a first creaky step.

To be continued…

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