Thursday, 17 September 2009

Day 4: Wet / Sunny - Who Knows?

68th Street Hunter College subway station

Riding the 6 train downtown

Chambers Street subway entrance, Financial District

Supreme Court, Centre Street, Financial District

Centre Street, Financial District

Astor Place / Lafayette Street

Astor Place, NoHo

Astor Place / Fourth Avenue, NoHo
"If you love someone, give them a cat with all the supplies"

St. Mark's Place, East Village

St. Mark's Place, East Village

The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Bowery

E.Houston Street flea market

E.Houston Street

Mural on E.Houston Street / Bowery

Mural on E.Houston Street / Bowery


Woke up at 4.30am, tried to go back to sleep but it wasn't really happening, although I think I did vaguely drift off at one point, but gave it up at 6.45am and got out of bed. Usual computery stuff, granola, reading, endless tea, staring out of the window at the somewhat grey sky and wondering exactly what the weather had in mind. It looked like rain, but when I left the apartment and started walking towards the subway on Lexington and 68th, did I take my umbrella? Did I hell. And guess who had to come straight back after three blocks as it started to rain with a slightly more serious intent than just minor spitting?

Bonus though, seen and overheard on 66th and Park on the way back to get umbrella: big white van belonging to Pagan Trucking Company, New Jersey, awkwardly double-parked, the back open pending unloading of goods, one guy at the door of the nearest building yelling in heavy NJ accent at the other one: "Hey! Marty! MARTY!! Get the stuff in!! No, GET the stuff!!!"

Poor old Marty was looking remarkably hacked off.

Eventually got back on track and arrived at my local subway station, 68th Street Hunter College, purchased 7-day Metrocard for half the price the equivalent would have cost in London, headed through the turnstiles and waited for the 6 train going downtown, to Astor Place where I was due to meet Peter and Amy for lunch in the East Village. Train came quickly, and I spent the entire journey sliding along the shiny plastic seats every time the train braked or accelerated, it was entertaining to say the least.

On arrival at my destination I found that it was raining in earnest, and windy to boot, and as there was a Starbucks right by the subway I just went straight in, ordered a hot chocolate, and sat alternately gazing out onto Astor Place as the rain splashed down, and reading my Lonely Planet guidebook whilst making notes. Wasn't really paying attention to the time, but felt as if I was obliged to sit there for AGES waiting for the rain to stop. When it finally did, I ventured out again and had a short wander towards Broadway, but it didn't look very promising photography-wise and I decided to get back on the subway and head further downtown, as I still had a couple of hours to kill before our lunch at 2pm. Planned to go down to Bowling Green/Battery Park in the Financial District, but the train terminated at Chambers Street so got out there and had a wander. Not the most inspirational photography, but it killed time, until I returned to Astor Place and walked up to St.Mark's Place in the East Village.

This turned out to be a hotbed of tattoo/piercing parlours at the NoHo end, with tacky shops and "colourful" people - was dying to photograph an eyeliner-wearing man standing on the doorstep of a well dodgy-looking establishment, but didn't quite have the nerve to do so. Had to content myself by instead taking photo of news stand featuring Michael Jackson tribute mags and raunchy Cosmo, featuring Bad Girl Sex and the Sexy Ass Workout (no holds barred here in NYC!)

Carried on down to Cafe Mogador where Peter suggested that we meet, to find a Moroccan establishment, with tables outside in the sun (yes, the weather had perked up), casual New Yorkers with dogs and kids hanging out and enjoying themselves, and a general air of ease and conviviality. P and A weren't there, so went in, got a table in the window and perused the menu while I waited. Had settled on a Greek salad, but when they arrived both Peter and Amy recommended the eggs/humous/tomato salsa/couscous, so quite happily selected that and it was a great choice since it was completely delicious. Nice to catch up with them again, the legendary party with 'slebs which had got A so stressed went off okay last night (Martha Stewart had turned up, paraded the red carpet for the paps and left again, but that was fine because she was photographed at the event), and Amy had only had five emails today, which was a slight improvement on the 200+ of Tuesday...

After lunch, Peter had to return home to work, but Amy and I wandered down to a clothing shop in the Village named Vince, where she had previously seen a black Mongolian lamb gillet that she had fallen in love with, but wasn't sure if she should get it as it was (a) expensive and (b) she wasn't sure if it suited her or not. When we got there, I could see why she liked said garment so much, and it did look good on her, so she decided to go for it. Was quite envious, it's just the kind of thing that I like to wear, but this is not supposed to be a major shopping trip (remember that Viveca - NOT a Major Shopping Trip) and although I don't know how much it actually cost I know it would not have been cheap!

After this satisfying purchase, we wandered around a bit more, with A pointing out various shops and places of interest, and then I left her to continue on while I backtracked to take some photos, which kind of speak for themselves so not much more that I can add here.

Later got the subway down to Canal Street, with the intention of visiting Chinatown, but when I got there realised that I was really quite tired (took 70-200 lens out today, lots of extra weight pulling on shoulder) so didn't go far, and ended up shopping for white All Stars and a custom printed black t-shirt with white angel wings on the back (very, very cute). By now completely worn out (took ages to choose t-shirt design), so did not welcome inordinate delay in subway waiting for 6 train to turn up - after half an hour of fruitless standing about got in a leg-aching grump and just got on the next uptown Q train, changing at 14th Street Union Square to finally get the right train back to the Upper East Side. Eventually got back to apartment at 6.30pm, a great relief, tired but happy, and already looking forward to tomorrow ...

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