I was walking around South of Houston late last night, that's what they call SoHo ,and it used to be a pretty dumpy area til Yuppies pumped it up. I guess the got tired of living up town because then they made up TriBeCa and that means Triangle Below Canal St. It's what you call a Syllabic Combination, instead of an acronym. It doesn't matter of course because new real estate enclaves explode all over the Burroughs of NYC about as quickly as that evil fresh water Zebra Mussel does what it does to get in the papers. Hell people live up in Harlem and Brooklyn has nice parts. But I wander lower Manhattan because that's where a lot of cool stuff has hit the table since I landed there from jungle Panama in 1947. Like last night, I'm walking near Canal St. setting up a tune and I heard Stevie Wonder blowing "This Could be that start of something good!" on his harmonica. It was Stevland alright and uptight, but he's blowing down some alleyway where I know right off it's not safe to see unless you are a blind man or a hungry dog. I stand there in my thoughts and think about Gary Davis and Rassann Roland and Stevie playing up a number when I hear some white man shoes slapping my way. You can tell a white man walking from the dull rhythm he lays down; It goes slap slap slap slap no brush, no taps and very few cops wear leather soles besides a uniform cop makes more noise than a ball game, with his snarking radio and billy bat and all that harness hitting his gut. Cop's are pockets full of worry so walking on is the smart move. Just walking on. But the shoes are pacing me from behind and suddenly they give a final step that echos in my head like an emerald egg hitting a shallow tin plate full of red tomato soup; a sound I'll not likely hear again but it pierces all the convolutions of unmade and old memories alike and lodges there like a mother's sweet voice or a wise dog's command to kill.
Then I'm back in TriBeCa. This may take a bit to explain: (TO BE CONTINUED IF YOU LIKE) but it's a personal story although Ill attempt to stay on the rosy lane.