Bedazzled

I was just wondering the other day as we walked into Times Square, surrounded by those giant billboards and dazzling neon signs, the crowds, the clouds gathering steam above our heads and the insanely tall buildings – what if Charlotte Brontë found herself here? I will tell you why that strange thought entered my mind. I was carrying a capacious cloth bag that I had bought at the home of the Brontë sisters in Haworth the previous summer. On it is a logo drawn out in lashes of thick black ink which puts you in mind of Charlotte sitting at her mahogany desk.

It makes for such a wild leap. Haworth to Times Square. The house in the open country leading to the vast moors, a time capsule of sorts, and then several worlds away it seems, this ultimate tribute to capitalism.

‘It is a strange kind of parallel universe,’ Charlotte might have noted in a letter to her dear sisters, never mind the alcoholic Branwell. ‘The girls they wear pies on their heads, the men wear shiny costumes with crowns around their heads and I cannot take my eyes off the neon signs towering above me. I fear my neck might snap off from the effort of staring and swivelling my head to take it all in.’ One thing is for certain – that it would have been a welcome reprieve from the dark industrial world she was born into.

To return to Midtown Manhattan to the arms of flashing neon capitalism. The billboards that dwarfed us, Broadway marquees, the people braving the heat in their motley costumes – indeed here was butch Liberty walking around with her beacon of hope, a couple of Spidermen chatting with passers-by, a Minion or two there and the Fat Blue muppet. Odd to think that it was the centre of a horse exchange trade sometime in the 1870s, then its reputation as the ‘Thieves Lair’ because of the seedy entertainment (gambling and prostitution) it offered and its sudden growth following WWI… Times Square has history and the promise of a gazillion musicals to make the head spin. Adi and I did not know where to look.

There was a reason why we had ended up last Saturday in Times Square. During a pitstop in an Irish pub for strong ales to tide the sudden stifling heat outside, we had a craving for Buffalo Wild Wings. The last time I had tried it (also the first time) was in Seattle with my sister-in-law and her family. We ordered up portions of Wild and Mango Habanero wings along with a sampler of Blazin’ wings which arrived as a small tub of sauce churned out of  Ghost Pepper. It is Bhut Jolokia, a hybrid chilli from India and one of the hottest chillies in the world. It would be no surprise therefore that I could feel my ears singe. Meanwhile my tongue begged to be soaked permanently in a vat of beer.

With it came the realisation that no longer are Adi and I ready to take part in the Blazin’ challenge which means that you have got to eat 12 Blazin’ wings in 6 minutes, without using a napkin. Burning skin, burning ears, burning everything…you would be on fire and really have earned that place on their wall of fame. It makes me shudder to think that my young niece has a plan for her mother and I. She is of the opinion that we can conquer the ghost at The Wing Dome, a local Seattle wing hotspot, where they have a similar 7-Alarm Challenge.

Where beer could not help, sweet treats did. I took refuge in bite-sized cupcakes, and in the matter of a few minutes, crisp churros coated with chocolate. Adi was delighted. For the rest of the evening he kept calling out to the fat girl who lives inside me.

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Perchance, Charlotte travelled to NYC
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Bigger and badder indeed
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She loves her pie
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Eye-catching marquees
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Times Square’s busy persona

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Wings to make you sing
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Cookie-creme offerings from Cupcakes by Melissa
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Double chocolate and salted caramel mini cupcakes
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To round it off – chocolate and almond encrusted churros. Let’s not live half a life.

117 thoughts on “Bedazzled

      1. And new Yorkers are almost as harsh as Parisians or Londoners. (Until you get to learn their codes) But it is a fabulous city. So many things to see, places to go… (Green with envy) 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Like I said it is a matter of codes. I you come to someone with a great big smile, make him/her feel to be the most wonderful person you’ve ever met, few can resist.
        Happy New York.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Codes go beyond language. Though French, I only “came back” to live in France when I was 16. And though I spoke the language fluently, many of the local customs were… weird. So the first few months, I observed a lot. Deciphering the codes. Then I was all right. New York? They have their own codes, like everyone. Just a matter of identifying them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Simple Simon might have enjoyed meeting the “pie girl” but he would still not be allowed to try her wares 😉 Love the photo of you and Adi. Very sweet! It’s funny how Time Square is looking so much like the Las Vegas strip. All it’s missing is a Cirque Du Soleil show!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He might have decided to whistle?/ And received in his side a thistle (do pardon me for sometimes I have the penchance of breaking out in nonsense rhymes much to Adi’s annoyance).

      Thank you for the compliment 🙂 Las Vegas someday then! But I am gunning more for the kind of sights you are showcasing nowadays. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting remarks about Charlotte Brontë. Though I believe she was known, along with her sisters, to eschew publicity. I would imagine her hiding in plain sight behind the anonymity of large, dark sunglasses and a baseball cap. Just another body in that hot, sweaty, writhing mess of humanity. And I’d be willing to bet she’d probably be registered at the hotel under the name Bell. 😉 Lovely post, Dippy.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hahaha you would have to put forward your creepiest best forward. Thanks Lyz. I love community storytelling especially when there are those toe-curling hair-raising stories thrown into the mixture 🙂 xx

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wasabi probably doesn’t come anyway near Ghost pepper, but I love to test my limits and try on a chunk of Wasabi everytime I get a chance. And everytime I get the same result. Ears ringing, nose burnt.
    Times square looks so beautiful. As much as I am not too keen on US, I still want to once stand in there and do a 360 degree spin. Haha

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Times Square is normally the first thing that comes to mind when I think of New York. So many lights and giant billboards everywhere. I couldn’t do the Blazin’ challenge because I can’t handle any spicy food in general 😂 Those cupcakes and churros look delicious though!

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    1. Your comment was held up in spam and I apologise for that, Angela. Now if only I could spam spam itself. Anyway, Times Square is the archetypal NYC image, you are right, girl. I wonder what you would make of it. Now the cupcakes and churros await you only if you try at least one wing 😉 Tee hee. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I so often wonder what it would be like to transport characters from 17th and 18th century to our times. A normal city would be sensory overload, I think. Times Square should be an absolute shock, and as you say, seem like a parallel world.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I remember being overwhelmed by the neon showcase the very first time I visited Times Square! But soon got used to it… though I’m not too sure about the pie on the head costume??!! 🙂
    Well you did go all out my friend…that churros tops it off…..I wouldn’t be able to resist. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Britney, you are in for quite a discovery when you find yourself in NYC. There is no time for ennui here. Those actually are mini cupcakes 😉 Bite-sized. I loved the idea because you can try different flavours without feeling like a glutton. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m going to have to pass on the wings, lol. Oh, the heat!! 😊 And wow, Times Square is busy! I enjoy your facts of years gone by. I’m sure NYC has some fascinating history, including the horse trading! Who would have thought!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A wise move I would say about the wings. I am quivering at the thought of my niece taking me back to Wing Dome for the 7-Alarm.
      There was this book I read a long time ago and which I am keen to reread now that I am here -Edward Rutherford’s New York. It makes you think ‘wow’ (for lack of a better word) with every page you turn.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great shots. The first time I went to New York in the 80’s, Time Square was not a place you would visit on your own. Crime, drugs, prostitution, and sex shops were the main attractions. Today, it is hard to believe. Everytime I go am in Time Square now I marvel at the changes. I know many New Yorkers feel that something has been lost but the crowds drawn to the lights and atmosphere certainly are good for the economy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marie, thank you. And you know what, I have been reading about it, wondering about the way it must have changed. So to hear from you about the vastly different tenor of Times Square – it makes a world of difference. The passage of time, how it changes everything. Never ceases to amaze me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fab piece. I think that we are on a similar theme this week… essentially about what came before. I love the idea of those from the past coming back and judging us…. I’d be very interested in what they had to say!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall go take a look Sophie. I do have a lot of questions in awards to answer yet but if there are new questions I always answer –
      though I do it in caterpillar mode. But thank you in advance for the thought 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mmm, those churros looked good. I think I’d pass on the super hot wings and cupcakes to leave more room for them. Whenever we go to New York, I’m always amazed at the Times Sq crowds and tend to hurry off down parallel streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. New York, New York!

    It was a dream come truth when I got there 3 years ago. We did an epic trip (as I like to call it) from Romania all the way to Canada and the to USA and New York was our first contact with the USA.

    We did not try the Buffalo Wild Wings though:)))

    Here is also my travel blog, I mostly write about our European travels.
    Would love to have your support and follow back, as you can count on mine:)

    https://egodiary.com

    Julia,
    Romania

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You made me hungry – again. I love Buffalo chicken wings + beer (all in that combo) more thank I’d like to admit. It was a Wednesday plan of every week when I lived in Chicago. Now I like you even more haha. Hope your tongue is recovering 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The tongue lives on, Virginia. I always find ways to keep it in place 😉 Chicago has great wings, is it? I think this country loves wings like no other. It is like a national love, so to say? I am finding it easy to fall in line. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a beautiful story to go with the beautiful post. I love wings – but they are not too common here like in the US. One thing about them though – I hate preparing them at home as I don’t like dealing with raw meat. It takes away my appetite. But at restaurants I am always ordering wings hehe. So many good foods in your post and I am on diet!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Pooja. I think wings are like a passion here in the States. Since I have arrived, it has been a wing-y affair. The fact that you are controlling what you are eating means that you deserve a luscious reward soon. Make it good! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My children are always trying to get me to o those silly food challenges like in ‘Man Vs Food’ Eat these Ghost chillis mum! Ugh! no thanks!
    The crowds! It looks really busy to me a simple, country girl! But those lights and the reference to Bronte! OMG I think she would not know what to think or do in that place!
    I have not been to NYC but I think I must -just to experience the mayhem! Looks like you are having lots of fun and cute picture of you two! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So I just posted a reply to your comment on my post and as I clicked ‘send’, I went.. “WAIT! did she say Massachusetts????” So I am scanning your posts and “About me” page (To see if I got it wrong all along about you living in the England ha ha!) and still am a bit confused…are u visiting? have you moved? Whats happening????

    P.S- The pictures look amazing and so do you two love-birds! ❤ I would love to have a pie that I can wear on my head.I'd wear it everywhere!! 😀 Wish to be at the Times Square one day!!! Have fun sweets! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apologies for my laziness. I have to change my profile info. I shall be home in a few hours, by evening hopefully, which is in New Jersey. We have been in Massachusetts for the last couple of days because Adi had work. We drove down so it was nice.

      Thanks Mallika. A pie hat is a piece of millinery confection, so why not? 😉 You can prep it up for your Times Square visit sometime soon hopefully. xx

      Liked by 1 person

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