There’s a scorpion in my lollipop.

I’ll see how I go with this update post a bottle of Beaujolais and some other red wine… gulping sweet orange soft drink seems to clear my mind.

There was a shop we read about that sold skeletons and bugs and crystals and weird stuff in Spring Street, just off Broadway. We made for that one first up today. Evolution is certainly filled with all manner of bugs in resin (and in lollipops if you’re so inclined), skeletons of humans and of creatures, taxidermy-ed (I know it’s wrong to say,”stuffed”) creatures great and small, crystals, rocks, and cane toad wallets. There are skulls crafted from pool balls, tiny skull beads, big skull beads, skull earrings, skulls, skull t-shirts, and things in goopy blue stuff. There are freeze-dried bats to hang in your room and a moose’s head to hang in your cabin, It’s an Alladin’s cave of ghoulish gifts and Victorian wonder. We lingered a while and left with only a card of paper crafted from elephantine poo, before heading off on a return trip to Eataly.

Pip was intent on acquiring a Chef Mario Batali salt grinder to grind our salt and we both wanted Number Big Son to experience the Eataly Experience. Eataly sits in the narrow shadow of the Flatiron Building on Fifth Ave, where it meets Broadway, a fact that slipped by me the other night when Pip and I landed there for dinner. The location didn’t elude me, just the Flatiron Building. I’ve said before that my usually solid navigational skills are shot in New York – it’s the subway I blame – it’s like when you put a blindfold on and they spin you around and then point you at the donkey with a tail and a pin in your hand, except they don’t point you at the donkey. Eataly also sits beside the Marimekko store, which required intense scrutiny, but which came up short because the Tokyo version was much better priced. Eataly again blew our minds with its sheer size and scale, so much so that we needed to heed Anthony Bourdain’s advice and head to the Shakeshack in Madison Square Park across the road for lunch.

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I’m sure I read somewhere that this was Anthony’s pick for burgers in New York and if that is as true as I think, he was right – excellent burgers and in a chilly outdoor setting beset by squirrels behaving like ibis do at home. The little grey buggers were harassing people and climbing on tables to steal fries. Furry seagulls.

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Critters left behind in the park, we decided to walk five blocks east through Chelsea to the Highline, a park that has been created on a disused elevated rail track starting in the Meatpackers district and heading north for a couple of miles. I was momentarily sidetracked by a barber for an NYC haircut, which was a pleasant and stylish experience, though quite expensive at $40, before we climbed the stairs at 23rd Street and headed south along the Highline.

20131106-234936.jpg It’s an impressive achievement with beautiful gardens and places to sit and a path to traverse with scattered artworks and photo opportunities laid on with spades. We took an hour or so to stroll along and through before heading back down to earth and home on the subway.

Pip and I rested up some, before heading off up Broadway (Williamsburg) to a restaurant called Marlow and Sons. The regular readers among you may recall a butcher shop we loved last week called, Marlow and Daughters, well this is across the road and they also run a well known menu-less establishment called, Diner, between the two. What a great place. Dark and loud and crowded and hip. This was where the Beaujolais I mentioned earlier came from, along with some freshly shucked oysters, tortilla, pork loin chops and beef shanks with radishes – all served beautifully and delicious and only three blocks from home.

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