Walking through Grand Central on my way to an early meeting, I found it difficult to keep my hand steady, due to a lack of caffeine. It was better to imagine everyone as a ghost, anyway. The light and shadows were perfect. If they hadn't torn down Pennsylvania Station, I thought, it would probably make a beautiful condominium. In the future, it will be easy to date photographs based on whether people are staring at their cell phones. It was good to get up early, I thought, although I could also appreciate wanting to sleep in. Earlier, Zephyr had refused to get out of the tote bag, which is understandable choice if you step back and consider the state of the world. Or maybe it's not so bad. There are small examples of progress: for example, after years of training, Dante can now touch his nose with his tongue. Like so many accomplishments, it didn't feel so monumental in retrospect. At work, I admired Park Avenue from the Helmsley Building. The city always looks great if you can manage to hover over it. Park Avenue seems to go on forever, but I know from experience that it eventually ends somewhere in Harlem, when it runs into the river. Later, I braved the actual streets. Looking back, I wondered how many others were taking shots of the street, as I had just done, and possibly from the same window. It was one of the small conspiracy theories that keeps life interesting in the city. I wanted to know if either of these guys would be buying the expensive new watch that made headlines this week, or if it felt redundant given their proximity to an actual clock. The pre-war lobby possessed an opulence that felt neither garish nor sterile. It was almost welcoming, though of course you still need a security card to get in, this being the post-9/11 era. Someone had a lot of fun designing the elevator banks. Back at home, Zephyr finally managed to crawl out of his tote bag and face the problems of the world. In the garden, it was already fall. As another year winds down, it's easy to feel optimistic.