I saw Santa, a Wizard and Jesus in Tribeca this week.

I admit, as an artist, I see things differently. I notice things others might not. A giant cockroach smushed on the sidewalk can occupy me for a full minute. Rivulets of rainwater bearing the flotsam and jetsom of overturned garbage cans, peeling paint on steel doors, weird dogs, ugly babies, I’ve stopped to revel in these. But sometimes I notice people that others might pass by without ever seeing.

I’m walking down Sixth Avenue when I spot a giant poster of Jesus on the side of the bus shelter just south of Canal Street.  It resisters as an oddity, but I think “Hey, if the republicans can say creationism is a valid theory of evolution, this isn’t such a stretch.” However half a block closer and I see it’s Brad Pitt hawking Chanel No.5.

A couple of blocks further I double take. It’s a wizard! It turns out to be a Chinese Man with extreme facial hair and a long queue. I don’t know why this says wizard to me, but I am not the only one. A passing toddler shrieks “Wizard” runs and hides.

Finally as I round the corner onto North Moore Street, Santa appears before me. Actually, it’s just a rotund white bearded fellow in a red plaid lumberjack shirt with a kindly expression, but to me he’s the closest thing I’ve seen to a real live Santa. The last Santa I took my kids to visit pinched my ass when they weren’t looking. Santa’s name’s mud in my book. The beatific look on this gentleman’s face restored my faith. Maybe Santa is real. Maybe this guy is just on some really good meds. All I know is hope springs eternal.

Come on. Admit it. Look quickly at this, the close your eyes and you’ll see Jesus too.