As I approached the last week of my job, I began to feel nostalgic for the walk across 42nd Street, which though much maligned by non-tourist New Yorkers has (along with its nearby streets) offered me a lot of interesting and quintessential sights over the past few years, such as this steam pipe I passed on my way toward Grand Central. Nor will I ever deny the beauty of Bryant Park, particularly in the morning, which removes the drudgery of the daily commute. Many times on my way to work, I couldn't resist taking a small detour up the steps and into the park, where it would be easy to spend the next eight hours resting under the sycamore trees. In the morning light, I feel some solidarity with my fellow commuters as we reluctantly (or not) head into the office towers to answer e-mails and ponder electronic vistas that, no matter how magnificent, never measure up to the real flower beds we passed that morning, or can hope to see again that night. The evening walk west has many perils, of course: the hordes of pedestrians anxious to get home or take photographs, the fuming cars and buses, the street preachers proselytizing from under the hotel scaffolding, the clipboard fundraisers who pester you, the canned music spilling out of the wax museum and fast-food restaurants; I can't say I'll miss it, but I grew to appreciate Times Square, which if nothing else -- and especially if you've had a few drinks --offers a kind of chaotic exuberance that is the opposite of pretentious. Everyone is welcome in Times Square, which is not something you can say about many places in the world. It also makes the garden seem that much quieter and serene when I get home. And gives me patience when I try to arrange the cats for their imaginary album covers.