I managed to get up early today and at 2 pm I had added four pages to my story. That amount of creative output made me think I deserved a reward.
I took the train down to Verdi Square. That is the intersection of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue at 72nd Street on the Upper West Side. A statue of Verdi is standing right next to the subway station there.
I followed Broadway. But this has nothing to do with my big Broadway walk. Today it was just for leisure. Shopping, window shopping and things like that. I wanted to start at Columbus Circle and walk up from there but the subway station there was closed during the weekend for work. That’s why I got off at Verdi Square. From there I walked down to Lincoln Square to get another photo of the Met. It was a good idea to go there. They have free outdoor performances going on. When I arrived a Brooklyn Choir was singing.
There are more concerts on several days during the next two weeks. And starting in late August there are free outdoor Opera screenings on Lincoln Square in front of the Met. I will schedule Aida. And I think I should see at least one Opera in the Met. Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin is starting in September. That might be a good idea. Will have to check out how to get affordable tickets. In the Opera Shop I found a book about opera related cocktails. I think that should have a chance to get a ticket into my suitcase. But I am still thinking about that. Like if it is still there when I get there next time…
I browsed through some shops and bought a blouse and a top. 30% off and 10$ coupons can make clothes really cheap here. When I felt hungry I had a frank with sauerkraut and onions at Gray’s Papaya. One day, when I am really hungry I must have the special – two franks and a beverage – to check the papaya juice, that has given the place its name.
On Broadway at Verdi Square street booksellers have their tables. I thumbed through a book about New York in Arts and Literature.
Just two blocks north of Verdi Square I came across Fairway Market. It would not be fair to just call it a supermarket. It is NYC establishment. Outside, along Broadway masses of fresh produce are displayed. Inside it is incredible. There is next to no food that cannot be found there. They sell a great variety of local and organic farm products, fresh meat and sausages, fish and seafood, kosher groceries, international cheese, salads, cold cuts, real salamis, bakery goods, a vast assortment of prepared and semi-prepared food and much more. I bought a French cheese (got sick of Cheddar now), a packet of Irish oatmeal and some bakery goods. I won’t cook any more now while I am in Harlem. Instead I can easily make a stop at Verdi Square on my way home from somewhere and get a stuffed eggplant, ready to bake, or a crab cake for the microwave or an assortment of Sushi or a spicy half chicken, or or or. The problem is just to make a decision. For tonight’s dinner I got nothing, because I had planned to go out as another reward.
Go out meant go for a Mexican dinner in one of the El Paso’s in Spanish Harlem. I walked over to Lexington Avenue and took the 6 train down to 103rd Street, expecting not to get a table at El Paso there. But I could even choose between three tables. Although the place was half empty it was noisy. Spanish music was loudly playing, two TV screens showed a soccer game and a lot of locals were having drinks at the bar. It was National Tequila Week and Happy Hour for Frozen Margaritas all day. I invested some more bucks and had an El Paso Jalapeño Margarita and Enchilladas con Mole with it. One with beef, one with chicken and one with cheese. Served with yellow rice and black beans. Something was pretty spicy. I guess it was the Margarita. A young waiter with nerd glasses did not get tired of filling up my water glass. Three waiters asked me if I wanted to see the dessert menu or have another drink. All in vain. I had to keep in mind that tomorrow there would be more delicious food.
What I learned today:
I need to schedule some culture. Like opera. It would not be a good idea to leave it all to December.