Having a bit of an arts and crafts night (don’t ask) and while going through a shoebox of ephemera from my overseas trip – a million and one postcards and ticket stubs and museum maps – I came across a couple of mementoes from a memorable night in Greenwich Village. Prancing around the city and drinking red wine solo, as was my wont, I stopped into an underground blues bar off Bleecker Street. The music was phenomenal!
Anyway, the night ended many hours later, shivering in Strawberry Fields and strewing shop-lifted flowers on the John Lennon memorial. I had been adopted by two well-meaning Argentinians, Lennon fans both, who steered our course cross-city via subway, scandalised that I had contemplated leaving New York without seeing Strawberry Fields. Somewhere between Central Park and my Upper West Side pad I managed to lose my gloves – not advisable in snowy early January. My last night in Manhattan was spent wondering if my popsicle fingers would ever regain feeling.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The funniest thing about this night was not laughing in the 3am snow on the steps of the Natural History Museum, or even ringing Steven Spielberg’s doorbell and sprinting away. It is contained on a small scrap of paper torn from a Terra Blues program, and with it comes a vague memory of a precocious lad who looked all of 14, in bowler hat and horn rim glasses. On one side, it says “may I ask you for a drink sometime?”. On the other side is an email address and the words “take a chance!…”
And before I could even say the words “what is this, primary school?!”, he had run away in a flash of Williamsburg-standard-issue flannel.
Just one more thing. Maybe the best thing about New York is the little dedications on the Central Park park benches. Each one a short story.