I made it! At 5:45pm I arrived at Battery Park. That’s where Broadway ends.
My walk started at Herald Square, 34th Street, like yesterday. Today I had left Brooklyn under a not so splendid sky but arrived in Manhattan without rain. And I took the right street today, the one with the street sign ‘Broadway’. It’s not really nicer than 6th Avenue but familiar. I’d been there before. The part between Herald Square and Madison Square is all about fashion jewelry and perfumes. Lots of shops selling fancy and glittering necklaces and earrings with fake stones and stuff. Most of them do only wholesale but some sell to the public and some had sale going on. I spent 6$ for two necklaces for me and two pairs of earrings for my goddaughter. Same thing with the perfumes, wholesale mainly but not exclusively. Discount prices and they are said to sell the real brands, not fakes. I did not try it yet. I bought a bottle in a discount store in Midtown some years ago and I am pretty sure it was a fake.
Today the Flatiron Building at Madison Square, 23rd Street was waiting for me where it is supposed to be. The area was pretty busy. It was around lunchtime. Like on many other squares they placed public tables and chairs there, where people can sit in the sun and eat their sandwich or some tacos from the Mexican food truck. I had a closer look at the glass part at the front of the Flatiron Building today because as I learned in the Hopper exhibit it was the model for the bar in the ‘Nighthawks’.
The next part, between Madison Square and Union Square, 14th Street has a lot of interior design, furniture and carpets. But shoes and clothes as well. It looks friendlier. The architecture is more into details.
At Union Square artists were waiting for art lovers the fast food workers were just gathering for their protest for higher wages.
South of Union Square the first obstacle came up. I spent an hour in Strand Books. But it is on Broadway so this was not rule breaking.
I found a stack of books I could have bought. A cookbook about variations of Mac and Cheese, Jessica Soffer’s ‘Tomorrow There will be Apricots’ half price in the review section, ‘The Little Red Writing Book’, a small book that fits into every handbag full of hints even on grammar, Shirley Jackson’s collection of short stories and two if her novels, Richard Powers’ ‘Generosity’. As I planned to continue my walk without carrying books I managed to leave without an purchase but some of these will need to be added to my luggage problem. At least the cookbook (It’s cute and I didn’t buy one so far), the Soffer book (badly recommended by Colum McCann) and the writing book (it’s so small and promises to be really helpful).
Crossing the Village Broadway features two more bookstores. The NYU one and Shakespeare’s. I at least had to step into both. In this area Broadway is dominated by apartment buildings, shops and NYU – the New York University. And food carts on both sides, offering drinks, smoothies, nuts, pretzels or Hot Dogs and halal meet dishes.
South of Houston Street the cast iron buildings come up, providing room for all kind of fashion from hip and fancy to Prada.
Canal Street, the next neighborhood border is the absolute contrast. Here all kinds of fakes are sold. Perfumes, watches, everything. It’s illegal to buy there but they still exist.
Beyond Canal Tribeca offers more cast iron and took me to where I was yesterday afternoon, the Civic Centre area. I was pretty hungry by now and looked for food options. Not easy down there, at least not along Broadway. I finally found a Pizza place where I had a slice of ‘Milano’ that was unexpectedly good. My desert was a smoothie. I start to get addicted to them. Not the sugary ones in bottles but the freshly blended ones prepared and sold from carts all over town. Today I had banana, mango, kiwi and blueberry, served on just so much crushed ice to cool it for a while. I enjoyed it in nearby City Hall Park. It faces Broadway, so not a sidestep.
After that Broadway finally reaches it last neighborhood, the Financial district. It carries the byname “Canyon of Heroes” there.
The little park at Wall Street looks still occupied.
Trinity root is still standing next to Trinity Church. At Bowling Green, steps before Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry my camera gave up for today. I had really stressed the battery.
Standing down there at Broadways southern end my knee told me for the first time since I am here now that I should not only stop walking now but give it a rest. It used to do that after three days of city walking, so this time I cannot complain and will obey.
But the day was not done yet. I had to hurry up to get to my extra writing class in time. Essay and Opinion in Bryant Park. All the way back to Midtown. But not on foot.