Wrong side of the water


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A friend of mine lives over in New Jersey, near Wackenbutt or Wifflehawken or some such place across the water, so id arranged, in the most tenuous manner possible, to meet him this afternoon. Because we didn’t get our act together (or return from brunch until close to 3pm) we didn’t get on the ferry until almost 4pm, by which point his phone had died and all we could get was voicemail. We sat in the ferry terminal until almost five and then took another boat back to Manhattan, then walked twenty blocks or something ridiculous like that down to a Mexican restaurant, where we had great tacos and I scoffed everyone else’s guacamole.

Part of the journey from ferry terminal to tacqueria took us on the Highline, the railroad tracks reclaimed as a footpath for New York. Part way along there was a man with a sign offering Shakespeare On Demand. I demanded Hamlet’s second soliloquy, which he did a good rendition of, though talking of a quintessence of dust is hardly appropriate for a sunny afternoon.

Still, I have greater problems than that. Our daughter has started walking with her hands clasped behind her back, a bit like a general inspecting her troops. This would be very cute, if it weren’t for the fact that she’s fourteen months old and therefore subject to random accelerations, when she lets her arms fan back behind her like a striking eagle. And then she falls over and breaks her fall on her face, not her hands like she’d been getting good at. Hence a lot more howls again, in the ferry terminal and almost in Washington Square this evening, and who knows what else to come before she batters this bad habit out of herself.

We got to Washington Square after visiting Magnolia Bakery, which specialises in cupcakes for women who are obsessed by Sex And The City, and therefore don’t eat properly. The cupcakes are only so-so, the really good stuff is the banana pudding, or so I’m told, because I detest all things banana flavoured. Nevertheless, we bought some pudding and then walked over to Washington Square, where strange men tried to proposition us for games of speed chess, and our daughter tried to pick up empty beer bottles and dive headfirst at the ground.

I sometimes wonder if life is more civilised than this in New Jersey. But do they have Shakespeare On Demand?


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