Browsed by
Month: August 2016

Paranoia & cupcakes

Okay, so now I think the boredom has morphed into something like paranoia. It’s been a funny week. I’ve been exploring further afield. Amazing trip to Coney Island and then the beach. Treated myself to a high end cupcake instead of the usual processed junk version. But I digress…

I was in the East Village yesterday, casually debating with myself about which tattoo parlour I should let give me a tramp stamp (NB – this will NEVER happen!) I’d spent the best part of the morning trying to get Mr Wallace on the phone. All to no avail of course. I’m beginning to think he’s just up and vanished. So still no answer on how long I can stay in the house or if there’s any other estate stuff I should be aware of. So I decided to distract myself with my ongoing fantasy about getting the worst tattoo possible.

I’d been looking at this one shop off St Mark’s when I noticed this guy stopped just up the street. At first I thought nothing of it – this is New York, people stop and stare every second. But for some reason this guy got my attention. Something about him made me look twice. And when I did I went ice cold. It may have been my imagination, it may be just me being here without a set of mates and talking to myself too much, it could even have been a cupcake induced sugar high hallucination. But I swear it was the same man I saw outside my flat in Kentish Town.

I didn’t stick around to find out. I went straight home. As soon as I got through the door I knew it was about to happen. The adrenaline hit me hard. I ran straight for the bathroom and threw up.

It’s in my head. I know it is. I’m just longing to see a familiar face, even if it is a transcontinental stalker. So, it’s time to start meeting people here, doing something with my time. Put down some roots, even if they’re just little ones. Whatever my father wanted me to come here and see, or do, I’ve missed it, but I didn’t pack up my entire life just to wander around this incredible city moping and sulking and throwing up seven dollar cupcakes.

Almost finished with the book. It’s a page-turner! Lots of stalking and pursuing and watching from around corners in that, so probably another reason I’m hallucinating creepy stalkers. I’m a sponge, as David used to say. I always thought he meant I absorbed the personalities and drama of other people because I was too banal to have my own. Perhaps I’m just an empathetic, sensitive person, and a sponge looks soft to a brick wall.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve had a drink. Or two… Found this tunnel of an Italian place round a random corner in the village and that’s where I am now. At half eleven blogging and accidentally sloshed. Going to write a plan now. A massive, sloshy, drunken plan for the time I have here. I’ve spirited myself away (pun!) to this sort-of magical place and I’m going to do something. Something worthwhile. Before I’m booted back to real life. I am the ant!


Bags, Grey Dogs and Limbo

Bags, Grey Dogs and Limbo

This city is wonderful. HOT and HUMID – but wonderful. I’ve pretty much got the layout of the city down. To begin with I stayed pretty much on Manhattan, but I have ventured out to Brooklyn a few times now. I’ve even made two attempts to ride the Staten Island Ferry, but both times there was a wait of twenty minutes. Fine, I don’t mind waiting. But I wasn’t too keen on the people that I’d be waiting with – not the (I’m sure perfectly lovely) people of Staten Island, but the tourists! Ugh! I didn’t wait. I’m in love with the East Village and Lower East Side. SoHo seems okay, but the people there feel a little untouchable – that whole commerce of art thing. It’s strange. I’m not that great a fit there.

There is one advantage of SoHo (and Canal Street really) and that’s the abundance of handbags (or as they call them here purses – the purse is the thing that goes IN the bag – don’t they know that???) OMG! I’ve bought so many. It’s an addiction. I know they’re not real, but they look real. Who the hell studies the stitching. I’m sure someone does, but not me! So now I have a house that I have no idea how long I can live in, with hardly any furniture but plenty of accessories 🙂

I’ve graduated from Starbucks to nicer breakfast and coffee spot called The Grey Dog. It’s really nice, although they’re not too keen on you hanging about in there taking up the tables. It seems to be fine in the morning, but come lunch time it’s too crowded. I manage to get in a couple of chapters of Through the Night before I have to leave. I’m officially hooked. What started as this simple little drama about a family losing a son has turned into a really exciting, even creepy, little thriller. The husband is trying to grieve but at night he goes sleepwalking and he’s like another person. He’s looking for the people he blames for his son’s apparent death (I still don’t know if I believe he’s dead) and things get… well, messy. It’s very much a modern update on Jekyll and Hyde – well modern for 1960. I like it a lot. It’s made me all puffed up and proud. And a little relieved, imagine if my father’s father had terrible taste in books? With a little adjusting it could definitely be a bestseller now. Look at me! I’ve got publishing in my blood!

Something odd occurred to me today. I’m sort of in limbo right now. I mean, this isn’t a holiday is it, but at the same time I’m not working or settled? I’m not a resident. So what am I? What is this? Exploring the city is all fine and lovely, but how long do I keep on wandering? Am I wandering? Or is there some sort of purpose to what I’m doing? Shouldn’t I be finding out more about my dad? What else is there for me to do? Okay, now I think I’m actually freaking out.

On the upside, at least I’m not completely bored yet. Even if I am on my own. I’ve never really had a problem with my own company. But I’m beginning to think it might be nice to get to know some people a little better. But for now I’m fine.


A slight spiral and bad coffee

A slight spiral and bad coffee

Today felt like a slog. I schlepped (that’s a word people seem to use here so I thought I’d give it a go) across most of Midtown trying to get used to the city. The grid made a nice change. My adventures included a couple of galleries. I went to the Whitney. Nice in theory, sort of disastrous in practice. The exhibit was stunning, Danny Lyon’s photos are powerful, but they just took me right back to David. His eye, the way he approaches a subject.

Instant homesickness and “oh God what the hell am I thinking?!”

That spiralled a little, but I recovered. Then I thought about my dad, so weird having a house that he didn’t live in. I think that was triggered by seeing this homeless man dragging a bunch of stuff down 5th Avenue. Such a contrast to his surroundings. He had his life in what looked like a sack. His clothes, some papers. He even had a fax machine! A fax? Do people still have faxes. I bet Mr Wallace has a fax. And a pager. He definitely has a pager. However, I’m not sure he has a phone because I called him three times yesterday but he didn’t answer. I need to know how long I can stay in the house for or if I should consider buying a better mattress. Or more importantly get wifi installed. I’m sure my local Starbucks knows that I’m only in there for the internet connection!

I don’t just steal the wifi, that would be wrong. I buy an insipid tall something-or-other. These burned black coffees are really not my thing. I’m yearning for a good nutty espresso. I’m sure I’ll find one once I meet people who can recommend. Yesterday I started reading the first few pages of Through the Night, the book my dad left me. Published by Ackerly Green in 1960. It’s the only book I have in the house. It’s… about a man, a sleepwalker, who’s looking for his missing son in New York City. Haven’t gotten much farther into it, but will keep you apprised. In case you’re interested (you being the big black void of no one reading this.)

In other news, my relationship with my Korean grocer (Mr Park) has deepened. He called me ‘young lady’ today, which is a definite step up from ‘you’ or my personal favourite ‘no’… I’m not sure either, but he seems to say it every time I go in for my midnight cupcake. Oh, yes. I have midnight cupcakes now. It’s not a problem, it’s just a thing… okay.


On getting lost and ice cream

On getting lost and ice cream

I’m trying to stay positive. I am positive. I am. Really. It’s just a little overwhelming. I’m in a new place. I don’t know a soul – if we don’t count Mr Wallace. (I don’t count Mr Wallace!) The only other contacts I’ve had are with the guy who runs the Korean Deli across the street and some random via Instagram. Something to do with my dad’s old publishing company.

I finally started to tick stuff off my bucket list. I got to Central Park, or should I just call it The Park now I’m staying here. Am I staying here? I’d been feeling a bit like I might just grab this book and broken fob watch and go home. But then a walk in the sun sorted me out.

This city is vast. I mean vaaaaaaaaaast. I feel like the ant running around the glade, carrying a massive load on my shoulders. Uptown things feels easy because of the lay out, but downtown I turn a corner and I’m lost in seconds. It’s kind of fun to feel lost. Completely lost. But then that makes me think of my dad. Lost in the city like he was. Homeless. Why was he homeless when he had this awesome (it did used to be awesome I’m sure) townhouse? They call it a townhouse here – I would call it a house or a terrace.

I did have some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life. Even better than Gelupo. I’m not sure if it was better because of the flavour or because of the extras it came with – about fifty different kinds of sprinkles and flakes and whatever you can think of stuck in it! Amaaaaaaaazing!

I spoke to Auntie Monica on FaceTime. She says that Ciarán had been into the pub asking about me and when I’d be home. No matter how lonely it feels here I will not be going home for a man!!! I think I’ll just head back to that ice cream place tonight. That will make everything right in the world. I can worry about what I’m supposed to do with all this information tomorrow.