I’ll have to write about the excitement at the end of my call night some other time. Today, however, was a good blogging day. I finished my shift a little after 0800 and went first thing up to the Marshall’s in Marble Hill to look for a new shoulder bag since my old one, courtesy of my old violin teacher, Ms Morrow, is more than ten years old and showing its age.
At Marshall’s I found several more good buys: new dress socks, a stove-top espresso maker for $9.99, a good-quality shoulder bag made by the makers of the Swiss Army Knife, athletic pants that are actually long enough without being wide enough in the waist to fit in two of me, and a pair of Timberland casual brown slip-on shoes.
I slept for a few hours at home before venturing out in the first winter storm, or Nor’easter, of the season. The mental image I have for Nor’easter is thick swirling flakes resulting in a gleaming blanket of freshly fallen snow. This, strangely, was not concordant with my experience of a slushy wintry mix that made the sidewalks slippery and produced a slurpee-like bog at the bus stop’s curb. The most pleasing image from the “storm” was seeing small trees’ spidery branches covered in a thin layer of clear ice.
After a little exercise at Columbia’s fitness center, I met up with Lauren and Maurcio at 116th and Broadway, where we boarded the 1 Train to take us down to SoHo where we had hot chocolate at Jacques Torres. Mauricio and I had the “wicked” hot cocoa (spiced with chili pepper) and Lauren had the incredibly dainty espresso. I mentioned to her that I might feel annoyed if I’d ordered espresso and gotten the mere tablespoon’s worth her cup held. Only then did I realize that she too was slightly annoyed with her portion size!
We wandered for an hour or so around SoHo and the West Village where we made stops at a cheese shop, the Magnolia Bakery, and the Chess Shop (see picture above) where Tyler, a friend of Lauren, was working. Only in NYC can you find a shop devoted to chess…and the rival Chess Emporium was just across the street! The Chess Shop, however, had a better atmosphere and a good-sized room with people playing chess for $2 an hour. It was the sort of place where one might pull out a pipe to smoke and was slightly run down, whereas the Chess Emporium seemed newer and more commercialized. The “Starbucks” of the chess world, if you will.
Mauricio came over for a light dinner of leftover zucchini soup, toasted turkey sandwiches, chips, and a Magnolia cupcake, and I got to spend the remainder of the evening tucked in bed reading and writing this post. Ah, the only thing lacking from the post-call day was a crossword puzzle…