My friend directed me to a bar I hadn't heard of, on Leroy and 7th ave, friend said. Leroy, yeah, I thought to myself, I think I know where that is. After all, I have lived in NYC since the first minute of my life. I know every inch of it like the back of my hand. Leroy, right.
I took the train from work to West 4th, planning to head downtown on foot. A flash of doubt: maybe Leroy is over there with Horatio and Jane, having a wacky name party up there in funkytown. I'll head uptown. Or not? I'll stop and ask someone.
"Hi, which way is Leroy?" I ask a young man smoking a cigarette.
I cross the street and hit the ATM. Inside, a cute, likely gay for crying out loud, guy.
"Hi, is Leroy uptown or downtown?"
"To be honest...I'm not sure."
I leave the bank, tentatively head downtown. I see a couple standing and waiting for the light.
"Hi, I'm looking for Leroy--is it uptown or downtown?" They look up and down, then down then up.
What the fuck? Why do none of these people know where the heck they are??? Why don't I??? My last hope, a middle aged guy and his daughter. They look like they live here, right here in ye old West Village. They are not tourists, not NYU students fresh off the bus.
"Hi, I'm looking for Leroy. Is it up, or down?" The father points downtown, and I walk about 4 or 5 blocks, just enough to find myself about THREE BLOCKS FROM MY NEW APARTMENT. A humbling moment for the native New Yorker, mitigated only by the discovery of a new, wonderful little bar, Little Branch, hidden behind a small, unassuming door at the corner of Leroy and 7th Avenue South.