It’s funny to think about Ronnie Barker on the streets of Manhattan, but it did strike me that Arkwright is alive and well here. The supermarket is open until midnight every night (no Sunday trading laws to scupper business here) and the pharmacy is open 24 hours. The pharmacy has gone way beyond its drug dispensing remit and sells pretty much everything. I am yet to see Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, the object of Arkwright’s affections, in the queue (that’s ‘on line’ here in the US, apparently queues don’t exist here) at CVS. I like it at CVS because it doesn’t have cashiers and the self service tills take all of the change I keep accumulating because I’m too slow to count it out in normal shops.
I love our local deli, open 8am till 9pm 7 days a week, which makes its own cakes in front of you. I think they may start charging me and E for watching them several times a week. So nice. I am gradually trying them all out. In true New York style we don’t cook and get take out from the deli – don’t want to boil those sprouts? Then buy them ready cooked, as the guy in front of me did. Want chicken for dinner? Well, how about 8 different types cooked and ready to eat. I frighten the man in front of me by saying I will have the other half of the chicken he has just ordered; he looks at me like I’ve just proposed to him. Nearly home and there’s a delivery guy in the lift (elevator) with a small brown bag that says Luke’s on it. I ask him what he’s delivering. Lobster. He’s delivering 2 lobster and prawn (shrimp) sandwiches and 2 fish soups. Now that’s true New York. You don’t go out to get your food, you get it delivered. Granville used his push bike, up and down the hills of his Doncaster suburb to deliver barm cakes to local housewives. The delivery guys here use mountain bikes to deliver lobster. Not so different from 1976, eh?