About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for May 12th, 2007

New York Saturday: St. Mark’s & The Sock Man

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Now here is where the story is half sock-fanatic (usually expressed in my knitting) and most of the rest tourist, with just a smidgen of performer.

nycstmarkpurplebuilding.jpgI love New York… the energy, the tall buildings, the ethnic mix, the merchandise opportunities that are just not available in my town, in fact not in my state much of the time. For example, last year we ate at a Moroccan restaurant, and there are none in Michigan.

As those who follow my blog regularly know, I write this as an opportunity to present life as art… food as art, gardening as art, friendship as art, sometimes costuming as art… as well as things that this society always categorizes as art such as music, dance, visual arts.

Today I’ll address costuming… I contend that every time we choose what we will wear to appear in public is a costuming choice. Sometimes the message is “I’m on my day off, leave me alone” and sometimes it is “I love bright color” or “I love fashion magazines,” “I dress for comfort” or even “I love clothing from other countries besides this one.”

nycstmarkautomat.jpgSince I adore color and since I have the great opportunity to costume myself on stages for musical performances, I think often about what I would like to wear on stage. I particularly want to wear bright colors, and if my legs will show I want bright colored hose.

Since Ami Worthen of Mad Tea Party had been by on Friday night, I’d asked her about sources for good colored hose (she also costumes with much thought about her legs, and for spectacular effect I must add). She told me there was a place walking distance from the theatre on St. Mark’s (which I think would be 8th Street if it had a number rather than a name).

Saturday after the improv workshop I decided to shop rather than attend more workshops. Since I don’t play uke, this made sense and I did really enjoy getting out into the city a bit. I headed south on 1st Avenue and turned right (west) on St. Mark’s. I went past many fine and fun places on my way to The Sock Man, and the further I walked the more funky and neighborly it got.

nycstmarkapartments.jpgEarly on my walk I found a purple building, at least purple on the first floor. It appeared vacant on the first floor and there was some graffiti but I was able to get a shiny-looking photo by shooting upward, showing the apartments above. Lovely.

As I kept walking I went past an Automat. Imagine that! In the 1930’s these were very popular in NYC especially… during a time when our music was being played in NYC. You put nickels (at the time) in slots and got food out, at that time on ceramic plates with metal utensils. I just ran around the internet for more information. Wikipedia has an Automat article and this is the web page of the actual shop on St. Mark.

These days, you can pay with bills and there was an ATM on premises if I remember right. Still you put in funds and a door opens, and you take your food out. This one was walk-by mostly, for people on the go. It was a young section of town; it made a lot of sense there.

This was a sort of alternative/indie sort of section of town. There were a few ethnic restaurants, a bunch of gift shops with either ethnic or alternative-lifestyle focuses, a lot of young folks, many of whom were wearing all black but not all. It’s a mixed up, tossed salad city but the flavor here was decidedly young, edgy and funky.

nycstmarksockman.jpgI finally made my way to The Sock Man, a business half a flight down but with a big table out front almost like a sidewalk sale, a huge mess of boxes and piles of socks of every color. Most were cheap and synthetic. I did see some good wool socks but I was in search of bright colored hose, both dressy nylon and perhaps some thick warm cotton ones. I went downstairs and inside.

It was not much wider than a hallway but they wasted no wall space at all. I found several brands, several things that might work. There were argyle hose, leopard prints, plaid, stripes, and solids of every sort. There were fishnets and all sorts of other lacey patterns, mostly black but a few other colors. And there on the very top rung were cotton hose in a half dozen colors, including turquoise. Sold! Well, I had to wait to have someone get them down for me but I was clear on that one right away.

I also found two pair of thinner, more dressy hose in hot pink and purple (no surprise) and a pair of just past the knee capri tights in shiny black for a particular outfit I had at home that I can’t wear as-is. I had to stop there; we are talking $45 on tights! But I found what I had come for and then some, and I enjoyed it very much. I paid and went on my way back.

nycstmarkskateboard.jpgAs I came out of the shop I took a good look at the street. At that point I was in a very livable area, with budding spring trees and a not very busy street. There were deliveries being made and a guy took his skateboard down the middle of the block. I have to wonder if maybe the street is off limits to regular vehicles, as all my photos of that block are car-free.

As I found my way back to the theatre, I saw the only street musicians I ran into all weekend. They were on the corner in front of Village X, a singer and a guitarist who turned his back on me as I took this photo from across the street.

On the way back I detoured down 3rd Avenue and found a sushi place. I got my usual, smoked salmon sashimi and steamed rice, and I got something or another for Brian to eat. I enjoyed having time to knit a little and watch the restaurant (which seemed to maybe also have Korean food, I’m not sure).

nycstmarkbusking.jpgWhat a perfect walk. The best. And now I have some great tights to take me through another season or two. I couldn’t be happier.