June 16, 2010

Strolling Notes: The World Cup in New York, the Situationist Dog, and a Footbridge in Tribeca

The Red Lion on Bleecker
• The World Cup in New York: An early day walk around New York neighborhoods these days brings the added surprise of seeing patrons in bars at 7:30 in the morning and hearing the not-so-subtle sounds of blowing musical instruments. Not every city bar has opened its doors for the first match of the day, but several venues have enthusiastically welcomed the early morning fans of the sport, including their matracas and vuvuzelas.

By the afternoon, many more bars and restaurants have opened, with fans sometimes spilling out into the street. Some venues cater to a particular team and feature special food and drink for the festivities. Outside of the bars, World Cup fever is in the air, with friends and acquaintances, especially those who have immigrated from countries represented in the competition, chatting wherever convenient to share news and friendly bantering.

It's hard to keep up with the expanding list of places to watch the World Cup in New York, but here are a few links to compilations of where to watch the matches in the big city:

"Germans Take World Cup of New York Bars, as England Loses Again" (Bloomberg.com)

"Watch the World Cup in New York at the bars and restaurants of the participating nations" The link is for Group G, with the article linking to other groups. (examiner.com)

"Where to Watch the World Cup in New York" (Zagat.com)

"Where to Watch the World Cup in New York City" (nytimes.com)

"Where to Watch the World Cup" (nbcnewyork.com)

You get the idea. Or simply find a bar-enhanced neighborhood like mine, the South Village, and come on down. If you're confused about what to drink in a bar that early in the morning, may I suggest the advice of a Tex-Mex restaurateur? He once said that it's OK to start drinking when MacDonald's stops serving breakfast.

• Amusing features of the Lower West Side/Tribeca: I often let my dog lead the way on walks, rather than the other way around, because she will lead me on fun, improvisational excursions. She doesn't pay attention to human conventions such as stop lights or intersections, so sometimes we get in trouble this way. She is a Situationist Dog, fighting the hegemony of city planners.
If you get stuck on the west side of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, look for the footbridge shown in this image.
Fleming Smith Warehouse
The other day the dog took me on a walk down the new section of Hudson River Park, described here in blazing blues and greens, and then south of Canal Park into Tribeca. At the intersection of Watts and Washington, we happened upon a particularly beautiful building from the late nineteenth century. Later, I flipped through the new edition of the AIA Guide to New York City and saw that it was called the Fleming Smith Warehouse. The writers of the guided describe it as "Fanciful Femish." Indeed, it looks like a lost building from a Flemish Old Masters painting. After exploring Desbrosses Street and Vestry Street, we suddenly seemed stuck on the west side of the highway and Holland Tunnel with no easy way out. Then I spotted a footbridge near Laight and Varick that took us back to a little park and then on to the south end of the Avenue of the Americas near the Tribeca Cinemas. The newish park is called CaVaLa Park, named for the triangle at Canal, Varick, and Laight Streets, and it's been refurbished with money from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Walking back home from the morning walk, my dog and I strolled north on West Broadway, a tony street with many upscale bars and restaurants. Needless to say, we passed several bars open for the World Cup. North of Houston, West Broadway is called La Guardia Place. Favela Cubana at 543 La Guardia Place is one of my favorites and a fun place to cheer on Brazil.


View The Footbridge at Laight and Varick in a larger map

The walk, designed by a large mixed breed canine, begins and ends in Washington Square Park. Along the way - Bleecker Street, with its ample supply of World Cup venues, Downing Street (for supporters of England), W. Houston, Hudson River Park, Tribeca warehouses, the Holland Tunnel (for fans of the Dutch?), a couple of refurbished parks, a bunch of chi-chi restaurants on West Broadway, a Cuban-Brazilian restaurant, and the NYU Library. The walk circumnavigates the Charlton-King-Vandam-District, described in another post. The complex ideas of Situationist practice, though simple to a dog, may be found here.



Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.

2 comments:

Anton Deque said...

Do Americans realise how much of an achievement it is for their team to get into the last sixteen? Ahead of England as the newspapers and commentators here have ruefully pointed out.

Teri Tynes said...

Hi Anton,
Yes, I believe many do understand the glorious achievement of finally breaking through to the sixteen. The excitement of the match, with Landon Donovan scoring in added time after so many near misses, had me and everyone I know in tears with joy and astonishment.