Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Still in New York

NEW YORK - These days, when you step up out of the subway in Manhattan, you need only look to see where there are no skyscrapers to tell which way is downtown.

Today, after briefly braving the massive crowds of tourists (the scribe must lamentably include his brood in the category) around mid-town, in an attempt to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, the temerous trio skooted over to Lexington Ave. and caught the 4 train down to Astor Street.

There the scribe and Mrs. Scribe, a little tingly with cold, slipped into The Central Bar for a martini (him) and a cosmopolitan (her) while Scribe Jr. slept in the stroller.

It turned out to be an English pub where a brilliant football derby (pronounced "Darby") between Liverpool and Everton was unfolding on a frigid pitch where the side in the red kit was handling well the efforts of the side in the blue kit.

And you'll have to find your own English pub if you want that translated.

The couple's best laid plans to finish the cocktails in peace were shattered when an African bloke playing for Liverpool scored a goal and brought a good number of lads to their feet, making a terrible row. Scribe Jr. awoke in his usual feisty manner and, a short time later, managed to overturn the table with the cocktails thereby putting an end to the revery.

Fortified nonetheless, the trio headed out to find the former home of famed anarchist Emma Goldman at 210 E. 13th Street just off of St. Marks Place. There was no 210 in evidence and so the UPS man was asked where it was and he responded "There's no such thing."

It was a little too cold to pursue the matter any further, and so, the troika headed toward Little Italy and Mott Street where the scribe's grandmother, Rosina, was born about 100 years ago in number 50.

Heartened by the half-finished cocktails the couple took delight in everything they saw. You will be glad to know there are still considerable swathes of Manhattan you don't have to be a zillionaire to live in, if roughing it in a downtrodden ethnic enclave is your cup of tea.

New York. There's no place like it and you have to revisit now and again to be reminded of this. In a single 100-yard strip just north of Houston Street, the intreprid ones saw five tiny restaurants with delicious and creative dishes never heard of or sampled. Invention and the cold seem to warm to each other.

There was a store called "The Paris Apartment Boudoir" which was designed like a small Paris apartment boudoir and we could only guess how such a niche business manages to turn over the $7000 necessary to pay rent and live the cool city life.

The Web site is and you can check it out for yourself.

Dinner was taken at "Il Fornaio" on Mulberry Street. It is one of the few places there not overdone in what we knew back in the day as "Brooklyn Baroque" and where you don't have to wait on line to get a table. It is a marvelous bowl of steaming pasta to combat the elements whipping in off the rivers, done al dente, that you will always remember and return to some many years later.

Fifty dollars (added to the credit card) later, the satiated adventurers headed for the F train station at 1st Avenue and Houston. There they ran into the headquarters for the Time's Up collective (environmental education & direct action in NYC) who seem to delight most in bicycling as a form of subversive behavior.

But here's their web page

the scribe is just about finished with Jeanette Winterson's "The Passion," and here's a line he fell in love with on the subway glide home.

"The heart is so easily mocked, believing that the sun can rise twice or that roses bloom because we want them to."


Anonymous said...

awww scribe,

you were in Ny and didn't let me know... I was playing the rodeo bar with some friends a few times around Christmas.... going back down tomorrow ( sat 1/8 )

whats up with that... hope you
had fun in the Big apple... drop me a line

best regards


highwayscribery said...

Nailed! The perils of being a public figure. I'll drop you a line ol man. But not until I come up with a decent excuse. Thanks for checking in at highwayscribery.

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TheLondonGuy said...

That's a fantastic quote from The Passion. Kudos to you, sir.