New York – Sunday – Bookstores and vicious Irishmen

(Wherein our intrepid hero finds that the lure of the craft too great to resist)

I began my final full day with some wanderance in central park, enjoying its… parkiness. Again I note the distinctly equine scent of the park. Truly, it must be visited by thousands of horses a day, I think. (Or else I was just in a particularly horse-dense section). I also saw squirrels – marvellous wee beasties! Eventually I made my way to the Frick collection, where I indulged in some art. If you go to New York, I highly recommend this gallery, and suggest that you keep your eye out for ” Portrait of teen with exorbitant codpiece“. Not the painting’s real name, to be sure, but I can assure you, you’ll know it when you see it, and then you won’t be able to see anything butit… Then, as I found I needed to make my way to NoLiTo (Which is apparently an abbreviation of “North of Little Italy” – don’t ask me how it’s supposed to work) to meet Georgina, a friend of a friend, for lunch. Lunch was rather splendid, and we arrived upon the agreement that the burgers in America are most definitely better than those in Australia. (Don’t ask me how, or why, they just are.) Thence I went to The Strand bookstore, where, in total defiance of your desire for amusing anecdotes, I spent about 5 hours shopping for books. Next time, I think I’ll buy more books. Oh, on the way I did find this billboard, which I added to the casualty list. I only regret that I did not get a photo next to a billboard advertising the forthcoming Bratz movie. That’s right, they’re making a movie based on those teach-your-children-the-joys-of-teen-prostitution dolls. After this I headed straight to The Spotted Pig, in the East Village, with my rather excessive cache of books in tow, including a copy of the exceedingly rare archy and mehitabel, which it is my great pleasure to possess. The spotted pig is a rather delightful pub, the first pub I’d been to that was like those back home (except smaller, of course). I had some devilled horse-somethings, I don’t know, they’re prunes stuffed with pear and wrapped in bacon with some kind of sauce. Quite delicious. Once again, after an indeterminate period of time, the bar staff started providing drinks for free. At the bar, I found myself in conversation with a somewhat irate Irishman, who declared conspiratorially to me (on finding I was a fellow member of the commonwealth) ” You’re probably the only one in here who knows what black Irish even is” (He was black Irish, apparently) “Damn right!” I effused enthusiastically. (Subsequent research has revealed that black Irish are, in fact, Irish people with dark hair. So there you go, we’ve both learnt something today and now can stop trying for the rest of the afternoon.) He expressed his dissatisfaction with the service provided, and revealed to me that he had applied to tend bar here (with ten year’s experience under his belt), but had been turned down in favour of a young woman with no experience, but, well… breasts. It is at this point that my Achilles heel was triggered, gentle reader, and I can only hope you do not condemn me too greatly for what followed. For, whilst I found the service to be entirely acceptable, indeed, rather good even (free booze will do that to an opinion) – even from the apparently inexperienced bartendress – nevertheless, the wit in me, that part of me devoted solely to the craft of a good jab, an elegant barb, a splendid one-liner, overcame all other delicacies of my personality, and I found myself furnishing our Irish associate (who was, it must be said, planning on far cruder and more colourful expressions of sentiment) with the following: “The service was terrible, but at least it wasn’t frequent.”

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Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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