Kay Rothman's MapSites -
Putting Lab School Writing on the Map

Laguardia and Houston

THe Village

There is a shop called Madame X. I have never been inside it, for it always seems to be closed. There are odd paintings on the wall outside the store. They are of people wearing ugly expressions, odd clothes, and in Picasso-style proportions. On Houston and LaGuardia there is a little café called Silver Spurs that my friend Paige loved while she still lived in New York City. We would go there with our mothers, and get a hamburger each. She loved to get a vanilla milkshake, while I always preferred chocolate. I recall how fresh the air had smelled when I left my apartment. Now there is a city-like stench surrounding the area. There are even flies swarming around the garbage behind the black iron gate. I suddenly realize that I have walked away from the mysterious store I was pondering about. I turn the corner and walk down Sullivan. It is so quiet. To my right, there is a Norwegian diner. It looks as though there is a bar in there too. Only a handful of people are inside. They are probably getting it ready to open. I look to my left, to get my bearings straight. There is a row of houses. Each is a replica of the one beside except for color. White, brown, gray; a mix of the colors you see on houses. In this area, it seems all houses are either exactly the same or utterly different. For example, my building looks exactly the same as the ones on either side of it, but different from those across the street. It is amazing how silent and solitary this street appears, with busy Houston and Bleecker on either side. I walk for a while. I think about the neighborhood. So many people love to live around here, I remember from when I did a survey-type thing. Everyone (almost) are also pretty nice. Since I just randomly stopped strangers on the street, it was kind of them to respond. Most people love it. It is a safe neighborhood, and just a little too noisy for some people’s liking. Only one woman was impolite. I went into a drugstore to ask her if she liked the neighborhood. She began asking me questions, and not responding. “Who are you doing this for? Do I have to answer you?” she asked me in angry tone of voice. “I’m doing this for school, and no, you don’t have to answer me.” I replied. I think maybe she was a little bit, well, off. “It-is-a-good-neighborhood.” She said without pausing to take a breath. She made a small gesture with her head. It was time to go. “Thanks!” I remember calling over my shoulder as I hurried out. I remember what my friend said about this. She thinks the woman doesn’t have a green card and that I was coming around doing census. I laugh inwardly, wondering why a 12-year-old girl would be doing census. But aside from a few people, I think it is like a community with everything it needs. It has stores for clothes and shoes, Starbucks, restaurants, housing, and so many other things I couldn’t even begin to list them all. It even has mysteries, like that store called Madame X….

The story was posted on 0000-00-00