It was inevitable that I would forget a few things, I didn’t write much down whilst I was out and about, and it’s only now as I look through photos that a few things are coming back to me.
There’s nothing Earth shattering coming up, I just wanted to get it down for posterity.
On my first day I did a lot of walking, and eventually ended up in Washington Square Park, I posted about the park and my chess game with Dwight. When I left the park I wandered down MacDougall Street before getting to the corner of West Houston Street; where my confidence just about ran out.
This is a much more residential area than I was used to. On the corner is a fenced off ball field, like the ones you see in American cop shows, where the detectives go to find their snitch or a suspect and end up chasing them through the streets. A little far fetched but that’s what was going through my mind at the time!!
So I rounded the corner to double back on myself but this time on the much larger 6th Avenue. This area was the first time I felt as though I was in a neighborhood, people were going about their daily business with very few tourists about.
In another fenced off area some guys were playing American handball, some were playing basketball and there were some people watching. This was Monday 3rd September which was Labor Day, which we in the UK would refer to as a Bank Holiday. So people were just relaxing, taking in the long weekend before getting back to work.
I had a McDonalds here too, and I was the only tourist in there, everyone else looked as though they either worked or lived in the area.
Here’s the second fenced off area, if you swing the picture around, you will see the McDonalds; I was sat at the high table to the left of the door!
I would be walking down McDougall Street a few days later, that time my confidence was much higher and I kept on walking south.
On the morning of my second day I had a haircut. I needed one before I left the UK but I’d read about a barbers not too far from my hotel called Boutique Barber Shop. It’s a very small place, just enough room for two chairs.
The shop is the small door between The Pet Market and Q Nails & Spa. It really is that small!
I was straight in and I was attended by Artor from Turkmenistan. His fellow barber was from Russia. It was an excellent haircut, Artor took his time to do his work and paid complete attention, unlike the service I normally receive back home. To finish he asked me how I wanted my neck shaved, at home this is normally done with the clippers, so I was a little confused, which he noticed so he said he could use the clippers or shave it. I asked for the shave, for which he used a straight razor – best. haircut. ever.
If I ever go back to New York and I need a haircut, I’ll be revisiting the Boutique Barber Shop.
When I was in New York the NFL season was about to start. Times Square was taken over with promotional events as was Rockefeller Centre. I walked passed Rockefeller on the night the kick off concert was taking place, although at the time I didn’t know it was a concert. When I was there, the two presenters were talking to former players.
It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out that No Doubt, a band I have been listening to for nearly 20 years, and who have released their first album for 11 years, played that evening…if I’d only just stood and watched a bit longer!!
As I said earlier it was Labor Day on Monday, and New York kids didn’t go back to school from Summer Holidays until Thursday. So it wasn’t until then that I got a second look at city life.
It was my last day in the city and walking around it felt a little different. There were more people going to work, there were professional dog walkers walking 3/4/5/6 dogs, the kids were back at school; I only saw or at least took notice of one school in my entire time in New York and then there were the nannies. I know I looked twice the first time I saw a Hispanic woman pushing a white child in a pram; it took a second for the penny to drop!
So that’s New York done, unless I think of anything else.