Posts Tagged ‘liquor store’


Traffic policewoman trying to persuade bus driver to move.


Sadly, work is now starting to get in the way of my quest, and the poor Monk has had to take a backseat as a result. On the bright side though I can now afford to order the bottles directly from India, if I so choose.

Walking back from work the other evening I happened to be strolling up Ninth Avenue, keeping one eye open for any liquor store I had not yet visited in the neighborhood, when I noticed some chaos up ahead at the major 42nd street junction. At first I naturally assumed it was just evening traffic being guided by traffic police and thus the mess. Ever noticed how no matter which part of the world you are in, the moment traffic police take over directing traffic there is always chaos? Followed by massive congestion and a rapid back-up of cars for miles around. I have wondered why they do not just let the traffic lights do their job since they are all electronically linked and co-ordinated, which the poor traffic police never will be not matter how hard they try or how well they dance…

As I got closer to the junction I observed that a large bus was in the process of making a right turn down Ninth avenue but not moving and so the blocking the entire junction. It seemed like the bus driver and traffic policewoman were engrossed in conversation, in the middle of this major junction, while cars on all four sides were waiting to get by. First, I thought the bus driver might be thoughtlessly asking for directions or that the cop had pulled him over and neither seemed terribly bothered to move out of the way to conclude their business. But as I got within earshot I realised it was an entirely different matter; a standoff! The cop was telling the bus driver that the right turn was not allowed at this time of the evening, to better facilitate the flow of rush hour traffic, and the driver it seems was refusing to go straight and around the next block to his destination. So she said he was not going to make that right turn unless it was over her dead body and he decided he would then just stay put until she changed her mind or hell froze over. I decided to stay and see how long this would go on. In the end it lasted twenty-minutes and the driver only acquiesced after the poor traffic policewoman called male armed cops to start amassing at the junction…only in New York!

I feel compelled to confess something that I have been holding back from all of you but also know that have I done so purely to protect you.  But recent events have forced my hand and I now feel I must come clean before someone or something else is struck by the curse.

It all started about two months ago, around the time I published my first post. I was in midtown to meet a friend for coffee.  As I got to the agreed venue early, rather than sit and wait I decided to take a stroll.  I had hardly gone a few paces when I came across a liquor store that I had never seen before.  The reason this is significant is because it was located around the corner from where I worked for a number of years and also where I passed by every morning on the way to my last job, just earlier this year.  Yet for some strange reason I had never noticed this store staring me in the face.

I walked in with eager anticipation, feeling like there was some divine sign telling me that the Monk was nigh.  The store was empty and there were no salespeople or clerk behind the counter.  I said “hello” rather loudly and still neither heard nor saw any sign of life.  I raised my voice and repeated my words.  This time I heard a little shuffle somewhere in the back and then heard a door close.  As I turned to look, from around the corner I saw a little old lady slowly walk towards me with a big smile.  She said, “Can I help you?”  I told her I was  looking for a rather elusive brand of rum and did not expect her to know it much less carry it.  She asked me the name of the rum and I said “its Indian rum called…” and she cut in to say “Old Monk” before I could complete my sentence, taking me completely by surprise.  I looked at her in shock as she was clearly not Indian and looked like she might have been Eastern European.  She smiled and said it was fine rum and one that she had carried for many years.  To my delight, she went on to add that said she tried to convince many a customer to buy, over every other run, but had been rather unsuccessful; and as a result it was only very recently that she stopped carrying it.  Great, I thought to myself, yet another sign from the Universe – just not the one I was looking for! However, all was not lost as she offered to order me some, saying she knew how to find the rather elusive distributor. I jumped at the offer and asked when I should come back to pick it up, she said in about three weeks should be fine.

In the last five weeks I have walked by the store more than four times now, all at different times of day and different days of the week, on my way to coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings.  For some strange reason the store has always been shuttered.  There is no explanation or sign. And there is no indication that they have gone out of business, been evicted or shut down by some city agency, and I cannot imagine that they just decided to take a month long vacation. Most strange; and even stranger that this should have happened in the same week that the old lady has asked me to return to pick up my Monk…