East Harlem, Little Britain and Intrepid


March 2009

I went to my English school to get sorted into a particular level. They said my level was high-intermediate. I got confused, I wasn’t sure that level even exists. I asked to be transferred to the Advanced class and they agreed, no questions asked.

So after that I had plenty of time to go for a walk somewhere near the Hudson River. So I walked that way, no heading towards the First Ave, but the Twelveth (far). As far as I remembered, Twelveth Avenue is a neighbourhood with lots of tiny English shops, groceries and chippies, that’s where I was going to get my English fish and chips fix. I was missing London like crazy, so I went straight there. While I was strolling past the 47th St, walking past the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Avenues, I came to a Restaurant Row, mostly consisting of Italian and Indian restaurants, where I could potentially go for a bite to eat, but decided not to, because I was alone (NB.: I don’t have that problem anymore 😉 ) I walked past these and walked up to East Harlem and that’s where it got a bit scary, there were less people in the streets, I could vividly smell the cheap weed (oh, she knows what cheap marijuana smells like) I covered my nose in a cool manner (what else is there?) and continued to look for that English neighbourhood.

I was walking past the abandoned houses, deserted streets, broken down cars, some kind of warehouses. I had no idea who was in charge of those places, but some of these warehouses were clearly open and openly unwanted.

A Hispanic looking guy came out of the door and smiled at me. I smiled back and nodded.


Everything seemed unreal. It felt like I was at an abandoned planet. The sun was going down. A slipping away beauty, I thought.
I got to the waterfront. Dead end. It turned out that the Twelfth Avenue was in Brooklyn, and for that I needed to swim across Hudson, or cross a bridge and get to those British expats another day. Fail.
So later I realised that Little Britain was on the Second Avenue, not Twelfth.

However, I found a very cool thing, which I usually do when I get lost. It was the famous Intrepid, where you can go on a tour, very popular with schoolkids, as I was told.
Little Britain waited for me on another side and was saying “Next time, love”


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