Sunday, January 20, 2013
I went to Union Square for a couple of things, & couldn't decide whether to head straight home, or go wandering. I got on the R without really knowing where I'd get off. Then I thought "Nordic Delicacies!", so off to Bay Ridge it was. I thought it was on Third in the 60s, but wasn't entirely sure. We would see. The R was very quiet, until a man with Tourette's (?) got on, and let out a series of deep growls. After a bit he added a counterpart: growl, followed by high-pitched muttering, followed by growl. Most people studiously ignored him, but there were a few snickers. I was straining to hear what he was muttering about, but the only part I could make out was a careful catalogue of food groups. "Melons, apples, bananas, pineapples, grapes ... those are the fruits... Grrroooowwwl! .... Carrots, peppers, onions, cabbage, leeks ... those are the vegetables .... Grrrooowwwl! .... Muffins, pastries, cookies, doughnuts, pies ... those are the baked goods ... Grrrooowwwl!" He got off at the stop I would have got off at too, had I been going home, but I had to go to Nordic.
It wasn't too hard to find the store, and when I went in I was the only customer. Most of the menu was in Norwegian, and I was too shy to ask for translations. I couldn't remember what I'd wanted to buy when I looked at their website, and was completely thrown by the likes of Spekepolse, Kompe Raspeboller, Kransekaker. I ended up with fish cakes. I decided to take the bus back home, but when I reached Fifth, I thought maybe I should go to Hinsch's one last time, so I walked south to 86th. Hinsch's was quite busy, but it was a little sad in there. There was a guest book for people to sign, and customers were sharing memories. They have (still "have" a little longer) the best staff in there, and my BLT might have been caviar for the attention I got.
I could have got on a 63, but didn't. It was too nice out. Instead, I walked further down Fifth towards the Verrazano. Fifth merged into Fourth. The late afternoon light shone upon locksmiths & hardware stores tenderly. A good number of the stores were closed though, including the Narrows Coffee Shop, in a fine old wooden building with a brick facade. What a lovely sight, with bridge in the background, and sun catching details of the shop's cornice. And that W in Narrows? As good a letter in a sign as you can hope for. Too bad the place was closed for the day, but I was just relieved it wasn't closed for good. I found out later that they keep early hours here - shut by 3 on Saturdays & 4 on weekdays - but it's only a bus ride away, so I know I'll be back.