Walk #24

20 January 2005
2:50 pm to 3:50 pm
Heads: 55
Tails: 46
Intersections: 66
Ending point: 21 Park Place
Latitude/longitude: 40:42:47.020N/74:00:31.201W
Distance from home: 0.1404 miles
Literature received: Dr. A.B. Hanna, dentist (“Free examination for uninsured person”)
Coin: 2001P North Carolina quarter

As I stepped out the front door and turned right, it started to snow. Just a little flurry at first, but then it came down harder, in big fat snowflakes, dusting the gray winter sidewalks.

I headed up Broadway, through City Hall Park, and took a serpentine route: two blocks west, up one block north, two blocks east back to the park, up one block north again, then another block west. At which point I turned north and headed straight up Church for about seven blocks without wavering. I then headed west and ended up by the front door of the Odeon restaurant, which I had never passed by before on these walks.

I hadn’t eaten at the Odeon in about five years—although when I first moved to the neighborhood, I had planned to adopt it as a favorite haunt. It wasn’t too far away, it was open late, and it had a semi-glittering literary past. But the first time I called up to see if they had room for me and a friend, they said no problem, come right on over. When I got there, there was no table. We waited for an hour before finally bailing; I’ve never gone there again.

I wandered around in circles through Tribeca. A woman with long blonde hair and a long brown fur coat was walking a beautiful large white dog with a tan patch halfway down its back, not using a leash. Other people had poodles and other purebred dogs.

As I passed by the Duane Park Patisserie, a little girl was building up to a full head of whine: “You’ve got to give me a cookie! Cookie, cookie!” Her caretaker was clearly about to crumble.

I drifted south and then headed straight east for about six blocks in a row, ending up by the courthouses. I went in circles, and came extremely close to heading over the Brooklyn Bridge. When a key flip of heads sent me away from it, I headed two more blocks west before I finished. I didn’t know if I was sorry or grateful not to be on the bridge: the snow over the river would be beautiful, but the wind would be painful.