Thursday, January 3, 2013
Perhaps it was the cold weather. Perhaps it was my first day back at work. Perhaps it was the WPA guide. Whatever the reason, as I sat on the train midday, heading back home, I had luncheonette cravings, & hopping off the train at 63rd, made my way up to the Lexington Candy Shop. I hadn't been there in years. At the height of lunchtime, the place was crammed, and I got squeezed in at a pink table near the back, intimate neighbor to an elderly man tackling strawberry pancakes topped with mounds of whipped cream. Next to him, a young woman (granddaughter?) & his wife, tucked into a space hidden from view. The women laughed together and the man ate, silently. Around me, regulars, blondes of a certain age, sequestered in booths. Single male diners at the counter. My dumpling of a Polish waitress, a comfort to her customers, somehow mistook my warped English accent for a Polish one, which was unlikely, disconcerting, & flattering, all at the same time. Throughout the room, unfailing politeness.
On Lexington in January, women had taken to their furs, and a couple of poodles and a sprightly fox-terrier were as well-groomed as their owners. The avenue in winter. Tailored, sedate, pleasingly predictable. Cast with a thin pale sunlight, dotted with as high a concentration of florists, cleaners and decorator stores as anywhere in the city. All life's small necessities at hand.