Amongst stone and steel, we approach a patch of green. A network of herb-topped tables across from mazes of “summer annuals.” Between the networks and mazes, bustles a classy throng. Girls in the dying fashion of long blouses over tights and ballet shoes sniff flowers. A granola couple in dreadlocks under worn bandanas walks with armfuls of herbs. Amongst them, double strollers and Yankees t-shirts buzz from vender to vender.
I step up to an organic honey vender complete with honey bees. A sign leaning against the glass jars reads, “We didn’t bring the bees.” The jar lids read, “Summer Flowers, Goldenrod, R, TF, S…” I had no idea there were different kinds of honey. The saleswoman hands me a drop of golden rod on a toothpick tip. That ranks among one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. But I dont want to lug an 8 oz. glass jar around the subways.
I walk on to a table of cider. “Directly from orchards in upstate New York,” says the woman as she pours me a dixie cup sample. This tastes like dry apple juice. “Thanks.”
My hand caresses a sheep skin as I pass the booth of dyed wool and roasting lamb then we pause for Chris' sake at a beef jerky stand for a sample of red peppered dried beef. Of course, I pretend like I am considering buying the product so that I feel a little less like a mooch.
After admiring the works of local artists, I buy a chilled lavender-apple tea from the members of an herb-garden commune. "Can you be replicated?" I ask my tea as I walk on toward The Strand's "18 miles of books."