Take The Village
Wednesday: An unseasonably warm evening in the East Village.
First: Iced coffee and Nutella-peanut butter-banana sandwiches with CJ and Em, sitting on a bench outside a coffee shop, waiting for CJ's tattoo (!!) appointment.
Second: Milling about the cramped lobby of the tattoo place, people-watching. People-watching is always good in this city, but in an East Village tattoo parlor? Primo. Noted: The trio of teenage girls in flowered dresses, inquiring about piercings. The man and woman who walked in, and then out, and then came back, and then left, then somehow snuck back in, then finally took their leave for good. The clean-cut woman with the blonde ponytail who got talked out of one piercing and into another. The well-toned man who stripped off his t-shirt to show a tattoo artist the ink he already had (and it was a lot).
And the older gentleman (who deserves his own paragraph) with close-cropped hair but a long, long (like, Amish long) grey beard, wearing a powder-blue wool blazer and dress slacks, and carrying a silver attache case. He consulted with an employee for awhile in the corner of the lobby, then disappeared into the back of the shop, only to reappear ten minutes later with no visible adjustments. We heard another employee at the cash register ring him up for "two beads and a bar." We don't know.
Third: CJ is, like, super brave and gets her tattoo. It is meaningfully chosen and looks awesome. The tattoo guy is the brother-in-law of CJ's friend, and he is the nicest. Em documents the process and provides moral support.
Fourth: I have the piercing guy, Evan (who lives near Tompkins Square Park and just had an interview with a funky design company in Dumbo - way to go, Ev!) swap out my now-3-year-old nose stud for a shiny new one. As I admire my nose in the mirror, I reflect on how "nose stud" is an awfully ugly term for something so cute and little and sparkly(!).
Fifth: We all leave, satisfied customers, and head to Milk Bar for celebratory cookies.
I don't often get down to the East Village. Too bad, because it's such a colorful contrast to the beige-cubicle button-down-shirt corporate environment where I spend my 9-5 (er, 8:30-5:30) hours. Maybe I go there more often. Change, and color, and sparkle? All good things.