Eventually, finding our way back onto Madison Avenue, we waited as the parade of filipino-Americans paraded away down the street. The National Association of Filipino-American Federations, the National Federation of American-Filipino Associations, the Filipino-American National Federated Association of Associated Federations, each came past, each with their own float and their own crowned Miss Filipino-American, waving and a happily glazed fashion at the group of four spectators who stood next to us shouting WOOO at every single one.
In the middle of the floats, a band of policemen in kilts and sunglasses play the bagpipes. For the life of us, we cannot see any sign or banner that indicates their association with any kind of Filipino-American federation, so we assume they are a crack squad of Federal Bagpipe Instigators, playing their vital role of instigating some kind of bagpipe action whatever the parades stated theme.
We find the Travellers Bookshop I saw marked on my map.
Ive been feeling the lack of guidebooks – the busy of the last few weeks left me utterly unprepared. Usually I would have consumed and digested at least three by now. As it is: none.
So we went to find one, in the shop marked as Travellers Bookshop on the map.
The fact that we had to be buzzed in to the shop floor should, I think, have probably been a sign that we werent going to be able to pick up a cheap Rough Guide, or a Time Out list of the best bars not to get killed in round our hotel.
Aaaaaaand we couldnt. Dont get me wrong, I ended up very happy. We found ourselves in an antiquarian bookshop specialising in travel writing and antique maps, which are frankly lots of my favourite things all at once. So that was nice. And useful, in a culturally informative kind of way.
The beautiful 50-year-old travel handbook that I walked out with half an hour later isnt quite so useful, though.
Particularly as its a guide to England for travelling Americans.