December 29, 2007 in Uncategorized
There was lunch with the ever-lovely Miss Koko at Republic in Union Square – one of our favorite old haunts. New home, new job, new coat - same Koko. After inhaling glass noodle memories and parting ways, I strolled through the farmer’s market in Union Square that still cradles the exits of the Union Square subway station with organic bread and dairy-fresh cheese. There are also street vendors who sell jewelry and art; pounded silver, sketchy portraits. One of the current crop of artists is selling a lovely watercolor print of Audrey Hepburn in her famed “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” pose, her face painted like a geisha and “Breakfast Tepani” painted in shaky hiragana next to her lovely face. Upon seeing the print, I was smug not only because I know that the attempted translation is grammatically incorrect and Tiffany is mispelled, but because I also know that “breakfast” should be written in kanji and “Tiffany” should be written in katakana.
Another moment of smugness: dinner with Evan at my beloved Dojo’s – a Japanese-inspired health food joint – yielded the usual encounters with the huffy Eastern European waitresses, as well as plenty of glances at their black T-shirts. A year of studying kanji like a fiend made what was once unintelligible but cool-looking Japanese writing pop out at me: ladies and gentlemen, the Dojo’s staff wears T-shirts that read: “Street Hot Springs.”
My coat is from Japan, my boots are from Japan, my pants are from Japan. My hair is Japanese straightened. My brooch – a gift – was bought in Japan. My Japanese writing righteousness also comes from Japan.
And yet, I’ve been stopped and asked for directions twice. Apparently, I can’t shake my New York face.