Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Lost time, found again...
In order to find yourself in New York, you gotta get lost first.
Which is good, as I have absolutely no idea where I am and it's been this way for the last two hours. My blackberry keeps telling me I am where I want to be, which is not helpful, as clearly I wouldn't be attempting to get there if I already was.
The beauty though, is that I'm having such a great time being lost I've forgotton my original endeavour of trying to find an antique jewelers in the Lower East Side. Two of the diamonds fell out of my Victorian engagement ring. It survives a century intact and after just one year on my big, clumsy hands, it's screwed.
In the time that has passed I have walked past The Cooper Union and mused how it looks a little of the Armadillo exterior of the Wales Millennium centre:
I then realise I'm not even in the LES anymore finding Fonda Lolita with it's actual VW camper van parked inside at Tacombi.
I sit down with a rib and chicken taco and ended up talking with the owner who tells me tales of setting up the same restaurant in Mexico. He'd had two successful places until bird flu killed the tourist trade. Then he started making beer and got the funding to move to the U.S. and open here. In New York everyone has a movie script-worthy back story.
I leave when it's just getting dark and the blinking neon of the 99 cents store glows large. The promise of cheap tat lures me, until I realise it's a $99 store and just sells leather jackets.
Down the block is American Apparel. The very same one that used to be deluged by hipsters on the benches outside. Today there are four hobos drinking from brown paper bags on the seats that remain and AA is hawking leotards on a rack outside for cheap. Oh the economy!
I walk around to East Houston and find an Army and Navy store being run by possibly the nicest bloke in NYC. I buy combat boots and some studded leather gloves from him and his Chinese Mum who doesn't speak any English, while he tells me he doesn't have a computer, but that customers tell him "Everyone write nice things 'bout me on internet".
I find the jewelers eventually, not by means of google maps on the Crackberry but by asking human folk the way. The woman in the store chastises me for having such a dirty ring. I avoid the obvious entendre and instead thank her and express how much of a pleasure it will be to pay hundreds of dollars to get it fixed.
I take the F train home and when waiting for it close my eyes to appreciate the Jazz trumpet player busking on the platform next to me. It's the perfect soundtrack to the day. Close my eyes, breath in the last few hours, smiling, smiling...
"WHAT THA' FUCKING FUCK MAN?" the girl sat next to me is suddenly going bonkers and flailing around. I realise it's because she was listening to her ipod and the jazz trumpeter is drowning out her music.
"'Dat's some fucking buuuuulllshit right there! Shut up man! SHUT UP! No one wanna here your fucking jaaaazz ass music."
The Trumpeter doesn't even blink. She screams, he plays Miles Davis. She screams some more, he's riffing some high notes. A guy in a suit gives him $20. The girl's still screaming. Together they sound like a hybrid alternative Jazz fusion you would hear at a downtown club.
New York makes it's own music.
Today I love the sound.