It is a month since I was in New York and I still haven’t totally got over what I thought was my post-holiday blues. I know when anyone goes on holiday and has a great time they usually come back singing the praises of wherever they’ve just been and talking about how they’d like to live there. I’ve done it enough times myself, but I’m wondering if this time it’s different?
The thing is, I had this feeling when I was in Manhattan of being at home. I looked around at the other people on the streets and the subway, or shopping in Daffy’s or Duane Reade and I felt a sense of belonging that I’ve rarely – if ever – experienced here in the UK.
It came back to me when I went out for a Friday night drink with my partner last week. There we were in this South Devon seaside town and I felt I needed to be more wary and on my guard than I had when I was in Manhattan. I quipped to The Man that it was because the NYPD seemed to be on every corner there and here it’s often the case that you only see a police officer when you’d prefer not to.
So, I’m still dreaming of being in Manhattan – although I’d need to take The Man with me if I was going to stay for any great length of time. Should you make it there before I return (or even if you don’t) here’s a tip for a nice, low key, place to eat. It’s downtown, not that far from Ground Zero: Roxy Coffee Shop, 20 John St (between Broadway and Nassau St). It’s classic New York, ‘looks basic but has a huge menu and takes food seriously. I recommend the ‘Create your own Salad’, which was a huge, hearty but healthy dish. Fast and friendly service too. Just beware that finding the restroom is a bit of an initiative test – but the staff are normally more than willing to show you the way. You can even order online (except for Sunday nights): http://www.roxycoffeeshop.com/
Another thing Roxy Coffee Shop has going for it is that it’s close to the Cortlandt St branch of Century 21, which is a great place to shop for discount designer clothing, souvenirs at bargain prices and a host of other merchandise. My two best bargains were an I♥NY tote bag for $7.95 (about £6) and a Wonder Woman watch for less than $10 (about £7). Discounted though the designer threads were they were still way out of my price range. As a benchmark it isn’t unheard of for me to shell out £60 (approx $90) on a skirt or £100 (approx $150) on a pair of boots. I enjoyed fondling the fur coats here too, even though I couldn’t afford one.
Until my next visit I am surviving on memories of my last, episodes of Sex & the City and reading Lynne Tillman’s ‘No Lease on Life’ – a bleak but funny book set in the East Village. Sigh.