New York Stories: ‘Before These Cobbled Streets’

For the first time I denied myself didn’t consume a cup of coffee in a time of duress. The only thing in-hand to worry about was the dying phone. About 7 minutes and $40 later, my trek from the Soho Apple Store left me wanting a cup of coffee and a treat to hold me over. What’s a handful more dollars for something tangible and delectable for the sake of piece of mind? Plus, while waiting, I could use an outlet.

I might recommend taking a little loop around the neighborhood. There are LOTS of fancy stores and awesome, little cobblestone side streets, said Sam (via text).

There would definitely be exploration, but it all would be in proximity to the Broadway address meeting point. Heaven forbid the phone does die, I’d know where and how far I’d have to go. Plus, I’d literally be standing out and in front of a Converse store, being the puppy staring inside with its nose pressed against and fogging up the glass.

“It’s a fairytale town, isn’t it? How’s a fairytale town not somebody’s fucking thing? How can all those canals and bridges and cobbled streets and those churches — all that beautiful fucking fairytale stuff — how can that not be somebody’s fucking thing, eh?”

– Ralph Fiennes as Harry (from “In Bruges” [2008])

The adapter was a necessary purchase, albeit the looming quasi-drama of playing up the needed battery power. That very morning, the tear in the plastic of the previous charger was evident. I did weigh my curiosity in regard to wanting to touch the exposed tiny wires when the cord was plugged in. (It’s just best to assume this previous adapter was a fire hazard.)

This segment of the vacation of exploration was not well-documented in the visual sense, because the fear of not having communication; although, I did wish to be able to take more pictures.

The Italian-themed decor was strung from wall-to-wall-to-fire-escape-to-window-pane-to-wall and so forth. Strands of light bulbs were strung in the same fashion. The cobbled streets of Greene, Mercer and Crosby have — Dare I say it? — [rolls eyes] curb appeal.

Perhaps horn-rimmed glasses needed to rest upon my face. A blazer would be appropriate attire, and a checked shirt would be the exposed as the next layer. Bring a tie into the equation, and call the outfit complete. However, it would have been too hot (temperature wise). Anyways, that’s what my character would wear, and there is discrepancy as to whether I’m talking about myself in the third person or this character is fictitious.

No matter how fictitious a character may be a writer will always but a little bit of themselves into that manifestation. Someone had to have said this before. It sounds too familiar, so don’t quote me.

I'll have "s'more" please.
I’ll have “s’more” please.

As I ventured from Broadway to Prince and other surrounding streets, the shops transitioned into big names peddling predictable product to smaller businesses that boasted guaranteed uncertainty, but the gratification was inevitable.

Artisans lined the streets with their wares; jewelry outnumbered the art. Although nothing was purchased, I looked at the products with a self-prescribed challenge: Who would you buy this for? Some of the items proved to be much more of a challenge than others; some items stumped me.

It’s a moment to be romanticized. It’s fun and typical. It be great if the adventure was during the December holiday season. Finding that perfect gift by an artisan in Soho not only seemed fitting, but it seemed right. This is the life to be led, to be lived and to be enjoyed.

The independent bookstores boasted unfamiliar titles with eye-catching covers, and they boasted familiar titles with unique covers. If I didn’t keep myself in check, I would have let the store with books already in my collection (but with cooler aesthetic appeal). Books, however, are always more than just books, and the process of looking for a book is more complicated than picking out a greeting card.

Syracuse has a similar appeal. Aside the strollable streets and stores and bakeries, the cobblestone roads make a valiant appearance. Sometimes the material can be seen in patches, where the pavement has worn away. Sometimes the cobblestone is apparent in some of the neighborhoods outlining the city. It’s hard to ignore the streets around Clinton Square and other Downtown sections once making up the Erie Canal.

The history and present living situation, aside the occasional rolling of the eyes, is appreciated regularly. But this is the great New York City, and it gave me some aspects to truly think about while walking around.

The Little Cupcake Bakeshop was the beacon of choice; after walking by several cafes, there were no seats available. This had a couple, but none were near an outlet (the specific thing I was looking for). Despite not hanging around or charging my phone, I ended up eating the vegan bakery’s s’more bar in front of the converse store all while juggling a book and an espresso.

There wasn’t an expectation that someone would walk by and knock something from my hands. The display seen was definitely an awkward show: So? I fit in. The s’more bar was consumed, but it was appropriately savored. The espresso, downed. I was left with Hemingway.

Frankly, it would have been more fitting if the rain was falling — not in a torrential downpour and not in a sprinkle, but more of an apparent and annoying medium.

The street view was pretty damn amazing, energizing. However, moments later, the change in perspective would result in my nose (almost) being pressed against a window, looking inside-out instead of outside-in and similarly to a child eyeballing a responsive puppy on the other side of a window….

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