Written by Jonathan Aryeh Wayne, June 14, 2017

The bird watchers sitting in Abingdon Square Park
Knew not of the spectators donned in their royal colors
Praying for their hockey team to win 400 miles away
Because their prayers went to the French bakery
Just up the street along 8th Avenue in New York City
Where freshly baked and overpriced cramiques dotted the shop’s window
Beckoning passersby to walk in and buy everything in sight

Hockey fans in the tri-state area were Philistines in comparison
As they knew of only nachos and cheap pizza to be of value to them
But somewhere on the streets of the West Village at the stroke of midnight
Those who embraced art, culture, history and the performances off Broadway
Were unwrapping their cherry whipped cream coated with crystallized cherry meringue desserts
Knowing they’d be up all night, waiting for the sun never to rise
As opportunistic rats flooded the dank cobblestone streets
Hoping for leftovers of their exquisite sweet treats

While the sports lunatics with hearing loss and fatty livers
Were dressed in their vibrant yellow and hellish black
Their precious hours of texting on their dumb electronic devices
Superceded any awareness of the outside world beyond their religious hockey arena
Where millionaires on ice skates slashed, tripped, boarded and stabbed their way to victory
The violent hour that loomed every 2 days was more than just a spectacle
It was a religion of worshipping men with the same colors and uniforms

Meanwhile, down in Columbus Park, across from the Wah Wing Sang Funeral Corporation,
The elderly Chinese musicians plucked and bowed their qinqin, gaohu and zhonghus
Performing pieces of music from their favorite Cantonese operas while fighting off Alzheimers
The delicate shards of sunshine pierced the London planetrees
While the faint aroma of Sesame oil drifted in from Tasty Dumpling and Shanghai Cuisine
Even the morning Tai Chi had left memories on the wrought iron park benches

This other world of ancient, gentle music & culture was not similar to the cachophonous noise
That blasted from the PPG Paints Arena jumbotron in Pittsburgh
The 20,000 human beings screamed like maniacs for 3 continuous hours
As their fears and joys emerged like charging elephants upon African Safari hunters
Crushing any hopes for reflection, meditation and human sanity
The brainwashed sports fanatics could even have been homocidal
If the opposing team’s fans happened to be in attendance

The army of uncultured and unworldly sports fans did not know of their shortcomings
For their lives consisted of living in a bubble much like the people of Columbus Park
But what of those urban travelers who walked from one city park to another?
Did they find themselves attracted to the occasional boutique storefront?
Were they overwhelmed by the amount of choices and courses of action?

The big corporations knew where to target the city dwellers for their massive incomes
As the urban displacement of cheap housing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Continued to open up new avenues for commercial development
Such as Whole Foods, Starbucks and Apple Computer
Moreover, the Bohemians and Hipsters mourned the loss of Death by Audio
After VICE Magazine bought out their independent, underground music venue
Yet, this stretch of Bedford Avenue adorned with overpriced food and clothing
Was a bubble these people were living in, unaware of how pretentious they really were
As conformists and consumerists of pop culture

There were those living up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn who were Airbnb hosts
Renting out makeshift private rooms advertised as bedrooms for $45 a night
The pullout sofa bed and four story walk-up with creaking steps
Was a fair deal for those tourists looking to “live like a local”
Despite having to abide to a laundry list that stretched the length of the Statue of Liberty
Did these hosts ever talk to large throngs of rabid hockey fans from Pittsburgh
Who never once stepped foot in Brooklyn, much less New York City?
Was the inward-looking nurse from UPMC dressed in her Sidney Crosby jersey
Ever aware of the new “sharing economy” thriving worldwide?

Back in Abingdon Square Park near the headwaters of Bleecker Street
A man with a shaven face held his cellphone up to the heavens to transmit a message
But instead of getting lost in the invisible matrix of radio waves
It time traveled back to the year 1960 becoming embedded in Paul Stookey’s brain
As he sat playing chess while sipping high-octane espresso on a sunny day
Outside a cafe in Greenwich Village near Thompson Street
As he recalled the songs of justice he performed in front of wild, skinny women the night before
He was unaware of the rising epidemic of Autism taking place 57 years later
As obese, chain-smoking nurses standing in front of West Penn Allegheny
Miserably and endlessly swiped left on their Tinder app with bloodshot eyes
Looking forward to watching Netflix and ordering heart disease pizza from Papa Johns

Back when technology hadn’t yet replaced human interaction
There were people who looked at others rather than their screens
As they sat with friends at restaurants, cafes and farmhouse porches
But the new, modern addiction was deeply embedded in the brains of the deniers
Who wished only for endorphin rushes from their slot machine cellphones
Unaware of the bubble these beings were creating in their own minds
Ignorant of the squirrel who stared at them with its furry paws around a chestnut
Oblivious to the warning calls the blue jays made of the red tailed hawk
Unconscious of the ant colony led by their winged queen below their feet
Unmindful of the looming tsunami from the drawback on the exposed beach
Heedless of the dark funnel cloud that swirled over their heads
Foolhardy of the avalanche that took them by surprise
While checking the score of the hockey game on their phones