December 27, 2007 in Uncategorized
My beloved Washington Square Park is closed – surrounded by fences and dead plants due to reconstruction efforts. Popeye’s on 13th and 1st is gone. Astor Place Wines and Spirits has been replaced by a Walgreens. Benny’s Burritos on Thompson! Dallas BBQ on University and 8th – the scene of countless sauce-stained rib and giant frozen drink goblet dinners – is also gone. It will be replaced by some bank, because grumpy security guards and endless lines are obviously so much better than spicy slathered ribs and scrumptious yam mashed potatoes. Just fantastic.
Spice on University and 10th is still there (lunch with the parents). Marie’s Crisis on 59 Grove is still there. Likewise, Curry in a Hurry in Murray Hill (dinner with Cheech) and Veniero’s on 11th and 1st. The black cube on Astor Place. Bigelow’s Pharmacy on Avenue of the Americas. Gray’s Papaya on 8th endorses Bloomberg for President and promises free hot dogs on Inaguration Day. My neighborhood has suffered a few losses but, by and large, does not shock me.
I stood at a street corner, waiting to cross. Two Japanese girls stood next to me and, I noticed one of them giving me the ol’ up and down – a long, langorous, jealous glance.
“Bu-to wa kawaii*,” she said to her friend.
“Arigatou,” I said instinctively. The Japanese girl gave me a strange look and giggled. I prepared to add: “Nihon de kaimashita*” but the words stuck in my throat – why the strange look? Was she surprised and embarrassed that I’d understood? Or had she not been talking about me? Talking about my boots? Was she perhaps talking about the boots that were in the store window in front of us? I glanced down – my boots were barely visible below my brown cordoroy pants.
The light changed. Confused and mortified, I fled.
*I bought them in Japan