"You think they have fleas there!"

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"You think they have fleas there!"
New York City, NY

New York City, NY


My last day in the Big Apple so up and out to make the most of it. First stop – Brooklyn Flea – held every Saturday and Sunday in Fort Greene and Williamsburg respectively. One of my neighbours told me about it on the day I arrived but I didn’t have the heart then – today, I did and I was not disappointed. Crazy **** spread as far as the eye could see! It was an good mix of old treasures and new arts &amp; crafts as well as an eclectic array of food vendors. It helped of course that it was an absolutely perfect spring day that lured out the beautiful Brooklynites and put them all in a good mood – it was like being on the set of Hipster Sesame Street.

Having already outgrown my luggage and being in a state of flux, there was little point acquiring anything that would ultimately belong to an established collection with an uncertain future but I did allow myself one little tchotchke – an old printers letter ‘N’. Purchase made, it was time to eat!

First course: hotdog or veggie dog to be more precise. Being a vegetarian often precludes me from partaking in certain cultural rituals so when I saw them on offer, I had already handed my money over before consciously making the decision to have one. And it was a fancy one at that – delish!

Second course: now I’ve had the hotdog, why stop with the cliches? One donut please! But like the hotdog, this wasn’t your run of the mill donut, it was a fancy gourmet one with dulce de leche topping with roasted almond slivers, basically caramel. It was a toss up between this and a very pink hibiscus flavoured one which although tempting, was a little too complicated for a donut – some pleasures ought to be simple and if it didn’t taste just like ‘pink’ should taste, I knew I’d be disappointed. As it stood, I was not.

Of course, this was accompanied by the traditional bucket of bad coffee.

I took my time and just soaked up the atmosphere and a few too many rays – once I felt my skin starting to crisp I decided to take shelter under the leafy canopies of Brooklyn’s residential streets, winding my way back towards the main drag to pick up a few bits and pieces for people at home wanting to exploit our mighty dollar. I was definitely going to need a bigger bag now!

Off to Manhattan one last time for a third and final attempt at The Book of Mormon lottery. I put my name down and waited for the draw … ah well, it was worth a shot, better luck next time! I’m joking – I won!!! I won a golden ticket not to mention the adoration of the crowd for only wanting one, leaving more for them, so not only did I win, everyone cheered for me – a very exciting moment! I lined up on the queue of the chosen to buy the ticket and to meet my companions for the evening, very friendly and excited they were too.

So with two hours to spare before the show, I barely knew what to do. I headed back to Times Square where I claimed my second ‘Free Hug’ of the trip, this time out of pure joy! For those of you who don’t know this campaign, please follow the link and check it out – it’s inspirational. It was started by a guy from Sydney who, having lost everything, saw the wisdom of one simple truth – sometimes we all just need a hug! It is now a global phenomenon and one that has soothed this soul on a number of occasions. What can I say, I’m a hugger!

I then went to play in Sephora where I was able to pretty much re-do my makeup completely, transforming me from day-time flea marketeer to night-time theatre-goer – at least from the neck up!

Feeling hungry again, I contemplated going to get something to eat but I’d run out of time. I reached into my bag to see if I at least had some tic tacs or something only to discover the perfect last NYC supper – a big apple! With a grin on my freshly made up face, I took a seat in the middle of the square an watched the lights flashing all around while I ate every last piece of it – except the core – I’m a hugger, not a core-eater!

Showtime! I took my front row, centre seat between my new theatre buddies who quite frankly, put no effort into transforming their evening looks. It was perhaps the funniest show I have ever seen. If you like South Park, this is for you. If you’re mormon, it’s not! It was absolutely offensive to absolutely everyone but with their unique brand of social conscience that only Matt Parker and Trey Stone seem to be able to pull off.

The two main roles were played by Andrew Rannells who we’d seen in the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway production of Hairspray a few trips back and Josh Gad who I recently loathed in Love &amp; Other Drugs – it wasn’t his performance so much as the need for the writer/director to make the character so utterly grotesque as though we needed some counterpoint to know that Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal were beautiful – really, we have eyes! Not like theirs of course but they may both be related to bush babies. In this however, Josh Gad was just as cute as a button!

I left the theatre on a high as I raced up to Times Square one more time to pick up a new carry-on wheelie bag to replace my now insufficient day pack. It was cheap and I’ll know I’ll pay for that later but for now, I just had to make it home for a very important mothers day skype session with my entire family!

I got in just before midnight to find them all waiting on the other end of my computer and it was wonderful! Both my parents, all five of my sisters and all six of my nephews competed for screen time and I couldn’t help but feel that I was on the wrong side of it. We laughed, cried, did fashion parades, a tour of my apartment and promised to do it again soon. And then they were gone and I was alone with a great deal of packing to be done. I could’ve used a free hug just about then.

This has been an extraordinary visit to NYC with higher highs and lower lows than usual but I leave knowing that New York (hearts) me as much as I (heart) NY.


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