GC: Night walks are incredibly important. The city becomes a different creature at night. There are levels of intimacy, of openness, of freedom, of control, of interaction, of encounter, that far surpasses—or, at least, offers a very different quality than—those of the day. People get drawn into associations and affinities that come from seeing each other regularly at night. In part, because places are more sparse; less obstructions to a welcoming eye contact. You feel it on the sidewalks, in the streets, and in the alleyways. The stoops are yours much more so than during the day. The very atmosphere feels more ready to accommodate you. Many places have one, singular, ingrained core story during the daytime, but at night? At night, these places give up many stories. A multiplicity of stories waiting to reveal themselves to you.
I: Do you have a preference between, let’s call them Day New York and Night New York?
GC: Give me Night New York over Day New York a million times over. That may partly be due to my constitution, and less to do with New York. I come alive at night. My friends say I get my second wind at midnight, but the truth is I get my first wind at midnight. My second wind hits at around three o’clock. I love the night. I love the sense of mystery that comes with it.
Garnette even walks my neighborhood in Waco in the middle of the night, when he comes to visit. I sort of feel that I ought to be with him, but I keep on snoozing…. Garnette is our great documentarian of city walking. He’s mainly in Boston now, but to go for a long walk with Garnette in Manhattan is a great thing. On one walk I think we covered the whole of Greenwich Village.