Staying on Track with Phoebe Sherry – Music and Mayhem

Music and Mayhem

Traffic in NYC can be crazy with people not signaling, cutting off other drivers or running red lights. For many New Yorkers this drives the love hate relationship that they have with the city. As if the awful sounds of jackhammers drilling and grinding combined with the smell of tar being broken up or laid down isn’t enough of an annoyance on its own- for me as someone in a wheelchair it is a huge safety issue. If I don’t notice this kind of traffic and construction the consequences could be disastrous for myself and my wheelchair. I always need to be on the lookout for blockades (man holes, steam grates etc.). It is often about weaving in and out of the various construction site areas. This time of year it’s particularly difficult with all of the pot holes needing to be fixed. Picture multiple construction crews some with signs and others with huge metal beams. There are also security and giant cement trucks rumbling, churning and spewing as you try to pass by as quickly as possible. Now I’m thinking I might need ear plugs for certain things in the city.

When I start my “walk”, or rather “motor”, I exit Grand Central Terminal and head northwest on 45th Street to Vanderbilt Ave. Vanderbilt is not only home to a lot of new building construction but also the name of my beloved Service Dog. “Vandy” as I affectionately call her is my constant companion who makes navigating the streets that little bit easier.

After the mayhem of Vanderbilt Ave I then head north to 50th Street where I take a left to 5th Avenue.  This is where the grime of New York fades away transforming into one of the most famous AND expensive shopping streets in the world. If I am early I can window shop along the way. After all I’m a huge fan of anything shiny, sparkly or glittery- a girl can dream. I follow 5th Avenue North to 57th Street where I turn left and follow 57th Street all the way to Broadway.

Along 57th St I pass the world famous Carnegie Hall and it is beautiful. It is a historical landmark that opened in 1891. As I go pass I often think about the classical composers like Beethoven, Mahler and Gershwin who have performed here. I’ve always been drawn to music because of the influence it has and that it can bring audiences together no matter of their age, background or ability. My cousin performed there as part of the Young People’s Chorus. As a young girl I always imagined my sister Stephanie playing flute there too. I remember thinking that anything was possible in Elementary School. As long as she practiced, practiced, practiced! As I pass by I always give a little wave to Carnegie Hall. It is a place that has always given me such joy. Through the grit and the grim of the streets, the sparkles of 5th Ave and the memories from Carnegie Hall I have made my way safe and sound to work.