Sometimes I like to take myself out for a little jaunt about town. I like to make a big deal out of it. I put on my Sunday Best, complete with ruffled pinafore, bloomers, bonnet, and a pocket-size sheep (just to add an insouciant touch to the whole Little Bo Beep ensemble), open up my parasol, and take to the streets.
I don’t like itineraries or plans. I don’t like having anything set in stone or written on a list. I like to have, at most, a general idea of where I’m going to go and what I’m going to do but sometimes even that is too specific. So it was somewhat uncustomary for me to have two items on my non-existent agenda this past Thursday afternoon: lunch at Village Natural on Greenwich Avenue, and then a hop, skip, and few jumps (quite adorable when done while wearing bloomers and Mary Janes) down Christopher Street to check out the Hudson River Park excitement.
I eschew public transportation whenever possible, so I forewent the subway in favor of walking. (You know how in magazines there are articles about ways to fit a little bit of exercise into your ordinary life, i.e. take the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator, park your car in a spot far from the mall entrance, churn your own butter … and you wonder who the people are who actually do these things? Well, I’m that person.)
Village Natural’s darkness was a welcome refuge from the too-bright sun. I settled in with my menu and glass of water, and delighted in the options. I chose this:
Special #2: Baked soy protein patties w/ mushroom & wine sauce served with steamed veggie & soba noodle ($6.50)
My mouth watered prettily when this was set before me:
It was so delicious that even the drone of the coffee-slurping, Arhoolie Records T-shirt-wearing, greased-back-ponytail-trying-to-take-attention-away-from-receding-hairline-sporting schlub a few feet to my left, couldn’t detract from the fact that my food was worth the walk and the wait. I did not have dessert, although the apple walnut carrot cake with tofu frosting was calling me like a Siren.
On my way back to Sixth Avenue, and presumably to Christopher Street, I came upon a lovely little garden. New York is full of these little plots of green. This one is called Jefferson Market Garden and is .361 acre:
Yes, I could have easily gone into the park and shot lovelier photos, but someone official-looking (translation: someone in clean clothes) was sitting at a card table just inside the entrance with a sign asking for “donations” and a little cash box. I didn’t want to feel obligated, which I wasn’t. And I didn’t want to feel cheap, which I’m not. I also didn’t want to feel poor, which I was that afternoon, with a mere $8.00 and change in my wallet. I shouted, “Hey, the best things in life are FREE, man!” and ran away crying.
These guys cheered me up, though:
The golf flag icon shows the location of Jefferson Garden Market. (The “1” indicates Village Natural.) How could I miss Christopher Street? Easily. You see, my sense of direction is so poor that if I leave any building by a door different from the one by which I entered it, I have to draw a map in my head so I can position myself properly. Or if someone blindfolds me on a street corner and then spins me around several times (an event which happens with startling frequency), I act, when the blindfold is removed, as if I’ve been deposited in the busiest intersection of a completely unfamiliar city.
While going completely out of my way and entirely too south, I came across some other delights, including this house at 121 Washington Place:
Feel free to make whatever hilarious connection you want about Elvis and pigs. But please don’t miss the fine detail work of Elvis’s snarling lip. (P.S. Today is the 26th anniversary of his sexy death!)
I wandered down Sixth Avenue quite a bit more, still innocently thinking I was going in the right direction. Then I tried Seventh. Oh, I was having a grand time! I don’t remember precisely when I realized I was way out of the way. (It was before Houston, though. Please. I’m not a total imbecile.)
I took Hudson Avenue for a spin, and headed back north. On the way, I came across these gems, just south of Morton Street:
Although I was very tempted to take the lid off the cookie jar why people do this, I do not know, but I’m sure I can set up a test complete with a control group (contact me if you’re interested in being part of the study) I did not do it because I only had $8.00, and I knew that wasn’t nearly enough to cover the cost of a broken cookie jar. Still, I stood and drooled, and eyed the shopgirl inside who I swore was watching my every move even though she wasn’t even looking my way. I dreaded the almost inevitable “May I help you?” that happens when someone stands motionless in front of a display with a deranged, drooling expresion on her face … so I moved on.
At long last I found Christopher Street. I turned left/west, and was stopped in my tracks by this subway entrance:
I know that it’s not supposed to be “cool” to look up in New York, and that doing so sort of brands a person as a gawking tourist, but I think that’s a bunch of hogwash. I looked up to the top of the same building and saw this:
I looked a bit more westward (ho!), and there, at last, lay my destination: Hudson River Park.
You’ll just have to wait for that part of our date, though. My mother always told me I should leave ’em wanting more, and you know I always listen to my mother, except when I don’t.