Sunday, March 25, 2007

Englishman in New York

One of the great things about living in New York (technically, I live 1.5miles to the west) is that you can find just about anything and if you work it right you can live in a neighborhood or interact completely with people from your own land. In my case, there are numerous opportunities to bond with fellow English (or Greater England) in bars and stores in lower Manhattan. On Saturday afternoon, I visited my favorite corner shop for a few pork pies, sausage rolls and some bangers. As a quite considerably displaced English person (via Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii), I can still remember the first time I walked into Myers of Keswick. (This is not a good picture). I almost expected Ronnie Corbett to to be standing behind the counter. (Thankfully the shop assistants are considerably better looking). At Myers, you can find everything from Flake and Crunchie bars to Ribena to Branston Pickle all of which are favorites of mine. A side effect of the limitation on traveling with liquids has been a significant reduction of my direct importation so I am lucky to have Myers.

At the store, I also found out for the first time that a number of local West Village stores are attempting to designate the area bordered by W14th, Greenwich Avenue and W10th as “Little Britain”. The campaign was undertaken by Tea and Sympathy (a tea shop) and is also supported by Virgin who bring loads of us back and forwards from the UK. There does seem to be some support for the idea. If you navigate to the ‘map’ segment on the web site you will find all the local ‘little Britain’ attractions. Highlights are Myers, A Salt and Battery and The Spotted Pig.

Following my shopping visit to Myers, I wandered around the west village neighborhood and at one point joined a crowd outside a full pub named The Red Bull where the group were watching South Africa attempt to match the incredible 40 over total of Australia (377 and they won). Standing outside in a group of about 20 were people from England, South Africa and New Zealand all joined by their interest in Cricket. At the same time on a TV screen further inside the bar England were dismally performing something closely resembling football. I love New York.

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