Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

What a day, a quintessential New York City day.

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It began later than I had intended having slept through my alarm which may or not have been a result of staying up into the wee hours of the morning watching "Valentines Day." Yeah, that actually happened.
But when I finally got it together, I set out for the most pleasantly unexpected street-walk adventure. It began at The Square Diner where I had my usual scrambled eggs, bacon and toast with a side of hash browns smothered in ketchup and Tabasco. The restaurant is one of the last remaining train-car diners in Manhattan and the perfect atmosphere for a solitary breakfast. Next, and without a plan I walked west along Franklin Street to Lafayette, then north to Canal and into Soho. My first stop was at the Body Shop to stock up on smelly goodness that I had been without. *Note: for any of you who shop here, please be aware that the almond body butter has been discontinued. I know, it hurts me too.
Once smelling fresh and glistening with moisturizer, I turned up West Broadway which turns into LaGuardia Place and walked through Washington Square Park. It was, as usual, packed full of NYU students enjoying the sun. I relished in the freedom that not being in school gives me.

Years ago on another trip to the city, I was told that 8th Street was where all the shoes were and having enjoyed my previous, tax-free purchases, I strolled in that direction to see what I could find. Unfortunately, I found none and after some conversation on the matter found out that while it used to be a shoe hub, it has since become a mix of big store shopping. Disappointed but not broken, I continued east towards St. Marks place,  and into the East Village. I returned to Tompkins Square Park in the section of the village known as Alphabet city and took refuge on a bench. I people watched; the chess tables were occupied by strangers who- I think, were very convincing of their skills at the game, considering they were playing without any pieces and all. There was an interesting assortment of people differing greatly from that last time I sat here. One man put half of a semi-lit cigarette into his shirt pocket and carried on with a conversation while he casually tried to put the smoking, mini fire out of his shirt. When he got up to leave, there was a charred black hole on the breast pocket of his flannel shirt. He rocked it like it had always been there. Only in New York...

Once ready to go, I walked across the avenues and south down Bowery where I saw Danny Huston sitting on the patio of the Bowery Hotel restaurant having lunch with another. I wanted so very badly to walk over to him, interrupt his meal and tell him how attractive he was in person but thought better of it and kept moving along.

Next, and this is my favourite, I checked off one of those things on my mental list of things that I have always wanted to do. I went into a bar, Tom and Jerry's and had a solo pint of Guinness. It was the most liberating forty minutes of solitude I might have ever experienced to date. I can't even tell you, how proud of myself I was! It might seem like a small feat, but to me it meant that today, I gained a little bit more courage than I had yesterday.

I practically skipped back to the apartment, revelling in all the wonders of a truly simple day. Thank you New York. I love you. 

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