I am back, and greetings to any lurkers who are not my two sisters or my wife!
The Worldwide Web has changed life in an isolated town like Tallahassee. It is so easy to explore distant places online, through sites where travelers post their photographs, or with Google Earth. I often augment my reading with geographical searches. But Ronda and I were ready to quit this place entirely for our fifth annual fall trip to New York City. We arrived on Thursday, October 9, and left on Monday, October 13.
We stay in a guest house in the West Village, a neighborhood that reminds me of Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg. Pass-a-Grille does not allow new buildings to be taller than a few stories, so that you have the feeling of being in old Florida, without the towering condominiums that crowd the shores elsewhere in Florida. The West Village is very much like that, as opposed to the granite canyons of Mid-Town. It has a human scale.
Growing up in the South, I always heard how rude New Yorkers were. My experience has been that they are unfailingly kind when they suspect that you are a stranger there. Ronda and I had many offers of help when we were trying to orient ourselves, or wondering which subway train to take.
This trip was a little different. We didn't visit any museums or eat at any "hot" restaurants. We tried a couple of times, but the Italian place we tried in Chelsea was hosting a private party, (probably in association with the NYC Wine & Food Festival that weekend), and a colorful Hispanic Day Parade on Sunday prevented us from walking up to the Museum of the City of New York, where we wanted to see, "Paris/New York: Design Fashion Culture 1925-1940".
I did stop in at Left Bank Books for a good old-fashioned browse. Found some titles by Alan Sillitoe, one of the crop of '50's/'60's British working-class writers I've been reading. They were all too expensive, signed or first editions, and I didn't find the one I wanted, The Key to the Door.
I had decided to find the perfect Italian sub or hero sandwich this time. Searches had indicated that Faicco's Pork Store on Bleecker street was the Italian Hero Mecca. So on Saturday, following a walk through Washington Square, I made my pilgrimage to Faicco's. I must admit that I was out of my depth. This sandwich was HUGE. We found a park where I could sit and attempt to eat it. It was as big as my face. I gnawed around the edges of it, and finally managed to eat half of it. It was delicious. The other half I saved for a midnight snack. So I've "seen the elephant" now. I would have been happy with a "Faicco's Italian Hero Lite", for Southern persons with small mouths.