When I open my eyes Sunday has began. I shower, dress and explore downtown with The Velvet Underground’s ‘Sunday Morning’ playing in my head.
I take a left outside the Holiday Inn down Howard Street and cut across Broadway. I meander my way through the closed boutiques of Soho and Noho until I find myself in the Village. I pause for a moment in Washington Square park and watch the dog walkers circle the paths. A few moments later I stumble across several shop windows with puppies in them.
I’m looking for a record shop and am having no luck. The Virgin in Times Square has closed down, and the Jazz Record Centre on 26th was another victim of recession. I’m after the expensive jazz cds you only get in Rays on Charing Cross, ones from the Tzadik and Nonesuch labels. Instead I find adland signified by the polished buildings of Saatchi & Saatchi and Euro RSCG. Both offices have Kandinsky rip off’s on the walls, a usual favourite of banks in London, although I imagine it’s to demonstrate the limitless of their creative expression. It’s wallpaper to me. I’m now back by the Hudson, then I walk East down Charlton Street and find a church playing ice cream van music. Churches are strange in NYC. Beautiful buildings, but lacking in history compared to European equivalents.At midday I find myself gravitating towards NoLita. I walk down Spring Street, lunch at the organic Spring Street Natural Restaurant and shop at Canadian import McNally & Jackson as it begins to rain. I spend too much on poetry books. The amount of new writing journals is astounding, and their presentation creative. ‘A Plate of Chicken’ by Matthew Rohrer’ reminds me of a poem I wrote called ‘Chicken Skin Music’ (a domestic heart attack) after the Ry Cooder album. The book introduces me to the Brooklyn based Ugly Duckling Presse, a non-profit art and publishing collective focusing on emerging and forgotten writers. I admire their design.
On the way back to the hotel I pass Elieen’s Special Cheesecake and think of my Nan.