October 2016, New York City.
It's the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated Haiti before sweeping through Florida and gradually drizzling its way up America's East Coast.
Like racecourse turf springing back to stillness after the thrashing of a hundred hooves, the weather began to contract. The mercury began to rise. Hot and dry, atypically late in the year.
I took myself onto the F train and down to Coney Island at the southern edge of Brooklyn's bulging enormity. The summer season had officially ended, the fairground rides which make the place so famous had all closed. And yet, the loitering sunshine brought life to the boardwalk. A jovial smattering of gender, colour, age, affluence and religion. A sandy-soled kaleidoscopic microcosm of a cosmopolitan America.
Just a few weeks later, the country elected a controversial and divisive new President, whose gargolyean rhetoric ran contrary to the gregarious diversity that played out before me. An unusual day on Coney Island offered a warm visual reminder of what "America" is, and why it is special.