So after leaving Cafe Reggio I head back to Washington Square Park and begin to wander around aimlessly, this is what I do when I don’t have any destinations in mind. I start to get a little warm from the rising temperatures and from walking a long distance so I take my denim jacket off and look for an oasis of cool for a quick beer. Naturally, I find one easily in this city, so I sit and slug at a cold Harp in an air conditioned bar. This seems to be a college hangout, but at this time of day only two young girls are there talking about school. I leave cool and refreshed and continue my walk.
I find a plant vendor on W. Houston St who talks incessantly, not that he isn’t interesting or informative he actually carries on three conversations at once with potential customers! He’s selling Red Maples and also Green Maples, I always wanted one for my garden so I take note where he is and continue my journey. I wander thru a street fair and am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of food and drink and stuff you can buy here roasted corn, lemonade, fresh fruit, crepes, beer, sausage and pepper hero’s, Thai food, t-shirts, handbags, houseplants, replica signs, as well as jewelery and old dishware. There is something for everyone here, but I grow bored looking at so many stalls. I continue walking and people watching, getting very hungry now, and soon I find myself in a Brazilian restaurant.
La Palette Bar and Restaurant is a little piece of South America on Greenwich Ave in the West Village, I am sitting in the open air patio sipping a cold bottle of Stella Artois and trying to cool off, the day has become exceedingly hot and I’ve put miles on my feet. The small courtyard is rustic with slate flooring and cement planters filled with tropical plants and small trees, old wooden benches sit against the walls, which are cracked with age and covered with vines. I am sitting at a granite topped bistro table in a comfortable aluminum chair, to my left a trio of late twenty somethings talk …loudly about many different things, the lone blond girl reminds me of my ex-an annoying, opinionated pain in the neck who knows it all and expects everyone to hang on her every word. She and her two male companions are drinking beer and waiting for food. She says she wants to get out of New York-who doesn’t. She’s not making enough money-who is? She’s still single-who knew! But the minute she leaves-she will miss it here. Duh! We all complain about living here and but stay anyway! Kind of like the jobs we hate but stay for the benefits and bonuses.
I try to tune her out and enjoy my appetizers, a mixed plate of deep fried goodness-beef and herb balls, mashed sweet potato fritters, potato and fish balls all covered in bread crumbs and all crunchy delicious. I think my Doctor would shake her head at me for this, but my cholesterol is low and I’ve walked far today. Then my main course arrives, a simple ham and cheese crepe which was good but not inspired, I could have made just as good at home. The trio has touched on marriage, moving, drinking games, Carmel N.Y. and San Francisco and every other word out of blondies mouth is “awesome”! Next to me on the right is a thirty something couple who focus all their attention on their child, a boy of about five or six with strawberry red hair, they try to keep the kid occupied so he doesn’t fuss, getting the waitress to bring sliced apples to keep him happy while the couple talks and waits for the food.
It’s getting on to six o’clock and the sun is making the courtyard a little stuffy even though it’s hidden from us by the buildings around us which also keep the breezes from coming to cool us. The annoying blond has said “awesome” at least two dozen more times! Dogs are awesome, backyards are awesome, barbeque’s are awesome, I want to punch her in the face, I’ve never heard anyone so unable to keep from talking in my life. The couple on the other side of me get their food, chicken and cream with mashed potatoes for him and Chorizo sausage and marinara over pasta for her, it looks good to me and both seem to be enjoying their food while still managing to spend all their energy on their child. Blondie stops her two male companions from talking and says “OK…Sidenote!” and starts telling them about google maps for her cell phone-now I want to strangle her while saying “AWESOME” over and over again. LOL just kidding I would never do anything like that….I’d hire someone else to! No that’s wrong too. But to continue I order a strong coffee, which I will need to get home and do some artwork tonight, deciding against dessert this time. But my thoughts will be with this girl who (like an annoying commercial you can’t forget) tortured my ears for over an hour… with her plastic personality and sound byte vocabulary.
I walk back to buy myself a Japanese Maple, it’s a real beauty about ten inches high with about a dozen leaves, I walk back the way I came down in the morning. The painter is gone, the railings are finished on 130/132 MacDougal St across from Cafe Reggio and the streets are alive with people on the move and music pours forth from every bar and eatery you pass, people are already starting a long night of revelry and it isn’t even dark yet. It’s so funny how many people see me holding my tree and do a double take, it actually looks like pot to the casual observer, but no on has the guts to question me about it. I quietly chuckle to myself freaking people out all the way home. It’s been a good day.