Crosby Street

February 7th, 2013 by Sophie Ward

Crosby Street is my favourite street in New York, because it happens to house my favourite bookstore. This also happens to also be the place my husband and I first met under the guise of discussing his manuscript, twelve years in the making. He wore a hat, boots and various talismans. I’ve never felt more transformed in three hours. Here’s an excerpt about that meeting from one of my forthcoming books, a series of published Big Long Open Gash (B.L.O.G) posts I’m currently calling ‘The Art of Invocation’. You can read the full story here.

I pulled on my black jodhpurs, a denim shirt, and at the last minute, tied a coffee colored bandanna around my neck. I was about to meet Isaac at Housing Works Book Cafe on Crosby street near Houston. It was going to be just like any other meeting, I thought linearly: We would talk about a fascinating subject, and I would open my mind to new concepts I found fascinating, and possibly a new friend, too.

I got on my rickety bike and headed to Lafayette Street. I’d told Isaac I was going to be late, however, I got there sooner than I’d imagined, and locked my bike in the nearby alley. I went into the book store and started leafing through books I had no receptivity for at the time. I was waiting for this new person to enter my energy field, and I knew I would know when it happened. Sure enough, my head swiveled towards the door just as Isaac’s face appeared there. His eyes met mine as if headlights had met laser beams, as if I’d met tigers eyes through foliage. I turned back to my book as he walked towards me, shy, shifted, and ready.

“Hi,” I said. Isaac put his bag down without taking his gaze from mine. He put out his hand, which I shook before kissing him on both cheeks in the casual French style. This new creature felt different to me, and yet I was hugely receptive to his leadership. He moved in a particular way, which I found fascinating. He wore boots, and a leather hat, had cotton bracelets and necklaces, various talismans looped around his wrists and neck. He asked me “Do you want a flat white?” It was the first time I’d heard anyone order a flat white since I’d been in Australia.