Blogging about Beats, tween fiction, parenting tweens, rebels, rule breakers, historical 1950s fiction and an 11-year-old who wants to meet Jack Kerouac.
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Saturday, March 22, 2014
Lords of the Village
"I pull her into the alley, and her blue eyes go wide. Here we go." --The Beat on Ruby's Street Midtown & Greenwich
Village, 1958. Now it’s getting to be spring and Sophie
and I are getting restless, just like Jack
Kerouac. They say wanderers are the lords of the earth and I believe them. We
can’t go across the country right now but we can at least go uptown.
Times Square has a ton of things going on
and my favorite place up there is the Algonquin.
There was a group of famous writers that had what they call a round table
there. One of them was Dorothy Parker,
who wrote these wicked little limericks. They also have a cat there named
Hamlet. We don’t eat there but I love to go in and walk around.
It’s also a kick to knock around Whelan’s Drug Store
(though most of the time Sophie and I are closer to home at Block’s).
Is there anyone alive who doesn’t like the drug store? It’s just got so much
stuff in it, stuff you don’t see anywhere else.
You can also just tool around the square
if you want, see what’s happening on Broadway, see men and women having coffee
in restaurants, leaning in to each other telling secrets; movies, billboards,
taxis everywhere. And all the actors and dancers, walking around like they own
Today we ran into Nell-mom and Gary
Daddy-o, coming out of the store with French bread and a bag of spaghetti and
tomato sauce. Nell-mom showed me how to take some globs of butter and stuff
them deep into the bread before you eat it. We won’t eat until seven because
Nell-mom has this thing if you eat before then, it’s uncool.
In the meantime, Gary Daddy-o gives
Sophie and me some coins for ices at Sorocco’s. He must have had a gig last
night. Then they tell me Nell-mom sold her fruit painting. It’s a woman, seen
from the back. Except
instead of legs and body she’s made of fruit, like lemons and oranges.
Gary Daddy-o and Nell-mom are laughing
and they took her purple scarf and wound it around both their necks. I like
seeing them laugh like that. Then something happens that almost never happens.
Nell-mom invites Sophie over to dinner.
She says yes and they say they’ll see us
later. Right now we have the rest of the day and some ices at Sorocco’s to look
forward to. I’m thinking hazelnut. Sophie’s talking about a cannoli.