With camera in hand, I set forth to conquer New York City on Friday. I didn't get as many photographs as I was hoping, but I did meet some really cool people and had a really fun time. The day turned into a pub crawl (eventhough there wasn't really any crawling), and we never got any further north in the city than 11th Street which is close to the northern edge separating Greenwich Village from Chelsea.
The first stop was the White Horse Tavern one of Dylan Thomas's favorite hang outs. Unfortunately, it was one of his last hang outs, because it was at the White Horse, Thomas drank his last 20 shots of whiskey before passing out and ultimately dying on the door step. O.K., at least we weren't that bad.
I couldn't resist, in a totally self-indulgent moment, I took a picture, this guy...he was gorgeous and was having drinks outside the White Horse.With quite a long walk, we made our way to Canal Street. Canal Street is lined with tons of shopping; purses, jewelry, scarves, sunglasses all at bargain basement prices. Following Canal Street, we were lead into a small part of Chinatown, then on to Little Italy to the Mulberry Street Bar. This bar was very similar to the White Horse. It has been there for years and has one of those great old mirrors that line the back of the bar surrounded by wood that was probably hand carved. This place was probably 800 square feet in all. There were pictures on the back of the bar with famous faces that had visited there. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Ronald Reagan and of course old blue eyes Frank Sinatra. All the parking meters in Little Italy were painted Red, White and Green. There were rows of lights and garland strung over the streets like a party was about to happen.
We then made our way to Soho (South of Houston Street), where I found a L'Occitane store. These shops are new to the U.S., as you may be able to tell by the name it's French...which is the only thing I ever talk about...(story at 11:00.) They have home fragrances, skin care for both men an women, all natural...smells great! There was also outdoor shopping here similar to Canal Street but on a much better scale. There were also great boutiques, THE SHOES! I was in heaven. Here's an interesting shot I took along the way:
Finding our way back to The Village, we stopped in at The Back Fence a place we've visited before. It's another 800 square foot place frequented by locals. Go to the bar, get your drink and a bowl of peanuts....feel free to throw the shells on the floor. They have entertainment in the evening and even have poetry readings on Sundays.
It was the poetry reading that initiated the conversation with the three people that came into the bar after us. These people obviously knew Charlie (the bartender) very well and sat at their usual seat to have dinner. The bar doesn't serve food, they brought their own. The first lady Susan shared some of her poetry with me. Click on the link at her name to see some of her work. I was quite pleased when I did a Google search on her name. She's quite accomplished. The second lady was Brigid and as you will read at with this link is quite an institution, and was friends with Alan Ginsberg. I will be in contact with these ladies in the near future to hopefully get them to The Susquehanna Art Museum so they may bring a little bit of NYC to Harrisburg for one of the Thursday evening poetry readings.
We also spoke briefly with Neil who was from the neighborhood (at least during the week.) He gave us a great tip about riding bikes in NYC. He recommended taking the Staten Island Ferry into NYC which is free to ride, but may cost some change to take the bikes. You can actually ride from Battery Park (where the Statue of Liberty is and where the Ferry drops you off) all the way to the George Washington Bridge which is approximately 9.6 miles, all on a bike lane, no worries about cross traffic.
The final stop was back at the White Horse, which by now was packed with people who just finished work. It's just not as fun when packed with people. After drinks we made our way to a local pizza joint and the for home. Getting home is about three hours if the traffic is good and the tunnel delays are minimal. It's all fun and games till we get to about Allentown and that's when fatigue sets in and home is the only place to be.