I woke up early Sunday morning (who am I kidding, I wake up early every morning.) After all of yesterday’s rain, the sun was shining. I opened the windows to let some of the fresh spring air in and made coffee while I waited for Clare to wake up. The sound of Bag Pipe music drifted in from over on 1st Avenue. I looked out the kitchen window and watched people walking their dogs, bringing home their groceries, going here and there. Birdsong and squirrel scolds filled the air along with the usual traffic noise and sirens.
My plan for the day was to head over to Union Square Park to check out the Adoptapalooza event and pet some dogs. My husband has already said no to adopting another animal but the reality is that there is a 2 dog limit in the apartment and we have 2 dogs. I know there are people with more dogs than that in the neighborhood but I’m a new tenant and don’t want to rock the boat.
My daughter is slow to get out of bed in the morning so I threw in some laundry and worked on cleaning the apartment while she got ready. Did I tell you that there is a website that allows you to monitor the laundry room? You can check to see if there are available washers and dryers and then check the progress of your laundry as it washes and dries. What wonder of technology is this?
Finally we were out the door and heading up 14th Street. When I lived on East 17th Street back in the 80s 14th Street was kind of a no man’s land. The East Village was not trendy. It was a dump and not very safe. Thompkins Square Park was known as Needle Park because junkies hung out there at night and left the place littered with used syringes and drug paraphenalia. I didn’t cross 14th Street until I was west of 5th Avenue and heading into Greenwich Village. The East Village was a place for squatters, drug dealers, junkies and the Hell’s Angels. 14th Street divided the safer Uptown neighborhoods from the seedier Downtown. Now 14th Street is a busy shopping street with a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods, a new and modern campus for The New School, tons of restaurants and apartments.
The Union Square Park we were headed for was also a much different place back then. The Farmer’s Market ran on Saturdays on the north edge of the park. I’d go there for produce, eggs, milk and honey. But I’d never walk through the park. Like Thompkins Square Park, Union Square was occupied by the homeless and the junkies. Today, the Farmer’s Market is open for business all year round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and you can walk through the park without fear of your life. There are playgrounds and a dog run and a great Holiday Market in the Winter. I have spent a lot of time in this area in our pre-apartment days when I’d come into the city with my daughter for her Saturday Pre-College classes.
We hadn’t had breakfast and it was already lunch time. I would have been happy with any of our usual choices but my daughter wasn’t cooperating so we walked up to the Park and went straight to the event.
Who needs food when they are adorable dogs just ripe for the petting?
I don’t know why I go to events like this. I can’t adopt another dog just yet so it’s a little bit of sweet torture. I haven’t been able to take my country dogs into the city with me yet (and frankly, I’m not so sure they will love it as much as I do. The city can be a bit of sensory overload for a dog with all the sounds and smells) so I feel the need for dog kisses whereever I can get them. Plus, tons of cute puppies seemed like more of a photo op than I could turn down. And really, I wanted to go in support of the message, “Adopt, don’t shop.”
When we could finally tear ourselves away from the puppies, kitten, and bunnies we went off in search of a late lunch at Big Daddy’s Diner. Then we meandered our way back to the apartment, stopping to browse through some stores along the way. We oohed and ahhed at the treasures in ABC Carpet where I love to take pictures of all the beautiful things, we looked at the Doc Martens and browsed our way through the tons of cool stuff at Muji.
And then it was time to go back to Connecticut.