Sometimes I get a thrill just being in New York City.
After a busy morning of casting, planning and fretting over my film (yet to be), I found myself with a lump of time.
My DP was too hungover to play Wii Tennis or whatever way we might have found to pass time.
After all the night was ahead of us and, by Job, there was more drinking to do.
He headed home to take a nap.
So I found myself in a span, traversing the streets of my beloved home, the West Village, walking as small named street intersected with small named street.
Sullivan to Houston to Bedford to Christopher (for a short time) to Hudson to Hudson’s end and into Chelsea for a set of caramel brownies.
Chelsea Market was once a place of great happiness for me. It represented the anti-mall, a consortium of independent wholesalers, all with exceptional products, who sold off some of their individual stuff in small cramped semi-storefronts organized around an urban waterfall: a pipe leaking down into a basin.
Now like, some things from my childhood though, I find it a mixed blessing. After all, the advent of Chelsea Market ushered in the gentrification of the area that would later be known only ironically as “The Meat Market”, for the drunk-stumbling club-kids and club-30s who would roll vaudvillian down its blocks while boyfriends or boyfriends-for-the-night would try to hold on to their dates by arm, waist or boob.
I was complicit in this, in loving Chelsea Market, and also complicit in the Market’s own inner-gentrification as it lost out on wholesale butchers and florists for trendy English gastropub/furniture stores and tea bars specializing in “cockteals”.
Still there were good brownies to be had there. Fat Witch Bakery still smelled great, even competing with the idealized notions from my youth. What’s more, the prices hadn’t changed much in all that time, those 9 years and still were one dollar fifty per brownie if you came from 5-7. I purchased a few, requisitioning them for my jacket or refrigerator and began the long walk back.
Hudson to Bleecker to Leroy to Carmine to Downing to 6th to King to MacDougal to Prince to Sullivan to Home
I turned on my “Young and Friends” playlist, which included some Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen on it. I grimaced at a couple choices on shuffle mode; I had put Gary Jules on there and the juxtaposition was painful between him and the other artists–he’d have to go.
I edged past tourists, inter-and-extra New York. A chubby child had on a New York Yankees jersey as he stared in the store windows of Bleecker street.
The air was a breeze or windy but not a gush like to blow me off, but just to feel it in my hair as I walked back down, the light fading in the city, but without the need yet for street-lights.
As I write this, I realize more and more the inadequacy of my writing to describe the ecstatic nature of being in the West Village, being home, walking in a city like this one and feeling like you own it, or at the very least, it’d let you get to second base.
Fun. I suppose.
You’ll have to try it, sometime.
FAT WITCH BAKERY in CHELSEA MARKET
Witching Hour $1.50 (M-Sat 5-7pm, Sun 4-6pm) Otherwise $2 or $2.25. (The Caramel one is best.)
NW Corner of 16th St and 9th Ave.
ACEL to 14 St/8 Ave.