Friday, March 18, 2005

New York break: three women and a plan

Plan number one was to go to the Fulton Street Fish Market at 2 a.m. Missed that one by dragging in too late last night. Plan number two was to go to the Flower Market at 5 a.m. Missed that one by… well, let’s just say that got missed as well (don’t look at me – I get up early). Plan number three was to make it to the South Street Seaport Museum on Fulton Street before noon. Missed that target time too!

On the other hand, couldn’t you argue that this little part of New York is more enjoyable in the afternoon sun anyway?
from an old deck: Posted by Hello
a handsome threesome Posted by Hello
warm enough to read outside, or, if you're a dog: people watch Posted by Hello
what time did we finally make it down here? well, these guys are leaving after the closing bell... Posted by Hello

New York break: the stress of city life

In Madison, I drive on automatic pilot. To change a route requires a mental exertion that I am not willing to hand over to the entire driving experience. I am not a big fan of driving all the time -- to work, to the store, etc. so it’s best for me to not think about the fact that I have to. Daily.

In New York, of course, it’s not all about wheels. That is indeed a relief. Except that now you are faced with endless possibilities of getting from point A to point B. It’s tense: from the minute you leave your place, you have to decide: left? right? And for how many blocks before you go up toward the next avenue?

I’ve always hated this, even when I lived here as a young kid. And there is remorse, too, because at times you realize you’ve made a bad choice. The block is especially dull – you have no window shopping opportunities, you pass by offensive places, shut down, barricaded, menacing. Next time, you say to yourself, next time I wont go this way.

And then through a confluence of factors, you find yourself on the same deserted block a few days later, hating yourself all over again.

It’s easier in Madison – no decisions, no self-loathing. Also no variation. Each drive to work is a repetition of the same route. To the grocery store – the same. Post office? Same. Gym? Same same same damn same.
potentially interesting... Posted by Hello
poor block choice Posted by Hello
rewarding window display of a good block choice Posted by Hello
and another... Posted by Hello

New York break: O’Leary’s? O’Reilly’s? Oh yes!

The night is young! an energized person tells me (she herself is not all that old, so why am I listening to her?) as my cab pulls into New York late in the evening. Come with me and we’ll join a New York crowd of shamrock-seekers. I oblige.

Morningside Heights (upper Westside, around Columbia) is not, demographically speaking, a good place to look for crowds with “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”-type t-shirts. In fact, the green motif, highly visible in the trimmings and decorations of the Irish Bar we stumbled upon, was not much in evidence among the patrons. It was the kind of place, also, where most people were drinking by the glass instead of by the pitcher – a welcome change from, say, State Street partying (although one might challenge my statements here, as I know next to nothing about Madison’s State Street bar scene).

Three women, sitting at a bar, is also an interesting situation, except when one of them so clearly is more than the combined age of the other two (yes, I did get called “mums” by one of the patrons, but the conversation sort of begged for it). If I had had any trepidations, they proved to be unwarranted. I would say that by the time we left (near closing?), the entire crowd (including the three of us) was pleasantly sober (-ish). Perhaps it’s because New Yorkers worry obsessively about keeping the numbers under control. You know, it’s the East Coast weight obsession.
the pitch: Posted by Hello