Normally, when I think of my long, long walks I think of covering a longer distance, like from Uptown to Downtown, or through a large park space. It's not a stretch, though, to talk about wandering essentially one neighborhood, but in a pretty thorough fashion.
Recently, after a poor attempt at winning plane tickets, I had a lot of pent-up energy and a system full of iced tea - that courtesy of the new Alice's Tea Cup mini-shop in Books of Wonder. So I took that energy and walked throughout most of the West Village, mostly window shopping but generally getting a bit of air, and a rare mild tan.
Though a good portion of Greenwich Village has given way to chain shops and restaurants, it's retained enough of its charm to still merit a visit from time to time. There's plenty of independent places, and it feels like a step into the past while not seeming like a museum - nor does it seem contrived. There are tourists about, but they don't clog up the pavement like they might in Midtown.
What I also like about this neighborhood is my ability to get lost without feeling lost. If I'm looking for a particular street, I tend to veer off the wrong way, and manage to explore blocks I haven't seen in a while. I decide that I must come back to these streets, and eventually I find my intended destination, if I even care to find it after all.
Finally, it's one of my Teahoods - one of the largest concentration of favorite tea haunts in New York. I only needed to mention that, probably, and you'd understand why I come here to wander when I can.
A record shop. Yes, kids, we used to have these on every corner. The 'For Rent' sign on the door is kind of freaking me out.
Caffe Reggio - still going strong. I must try sitting outside one day.
Pack in my college years, it was nearly impossible to find loose tea in New York outside of Chinatown. I developed my habit by visiting places like Porto Rico and nearby McNulty's. Sure, they smell overwhelmingly of coffee, but that not a bad thing.
A wonderful bookshop - I went to two Jasper Fforde signings here, and hope to one day watch one of their "radio dramas". It's on Greenwich Avenue, just down the road from Tea and Sympathy. Scones....
A beautifully aloof kitty on MacDougal Street.
When I think of clean clothes, Van Gogh's name rarely springs to mind, but this place is gorgeous.