Misheard Lyrics: Does The Strand Have Chairs?

I never fall into a stupor and sigh, “I belong in New York.” New York is glamorous and fun, if overwhelming, with an infinite number of things to see and do: art museums, concerts, plays, foreign film festivals, poetry readings, markets, grazing at gourmet restaurants, cozy cafes, ferry rides, and sight-seeing.

It is also ruinously expensive.
New York City is a magnet for young, ambitious people.  Years ago when I was starting out, I applied for a teaching job at a private school in Manhattan.  I declined the interview when I was told the salary was $8,000 a year. I tried to get my head around living in New York on that. Would I inhabit a homeless camp, getting up at 3 a.m. to rush to school to shower and don my one suitable outfit, a designer suit from a thrift shop? 

New Jersey might be more affordable – but  it was quite expensive, too.  Perhaps Bruce Springsteen and his wife would let me rent a corner of their attic.  In return, I would recite lyrics I’ve misheard: “Your almost enemy has come to town” is my edgy version of “Your own worst enemy has come to town.” But perhaps it is tactless to admit I haven’t quite understood the lyrics.

In New York, the bookstores  ensorcell me.  About a decade ago, a friend sent me a picture postcard of The Strand, a famous four-story bookstore with 2.5 million new and used books.  I stared at it, saucer-eyed.  Where I live, the choice of bookstores is between Barnes and Noble…and Barnes and Noble.  

 I would love to go to New York to shop at The Strand. I have one question:  does The Strand have chairs?  After an hour (or a day), I like to flop in a cozy chair and sort my stack of books to decide which I’ll buy.

I’ll settle for a wooden chair.  Sitting must be done.

If they don’t have chairs, they must accompany me to a coffee shop where I can sit and sort the books.

4 thoughts on “ Misheard Lyrics: Does The Strand Have Chairs?”

  1. Ah, the wonderful world of Mondegreens! For years I thought the Beatles were telling me ” she’s got a singing giraffe “

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