04 May 2007

The 21st Arrondissement

One of the odder aspects of the jacked-up tourism trade in New York City is that you can find custom-made picture postcards for sale at the counter of even the crummiest, out-of-the-way bodega. You sometimes have to wonder: what tourists find their way to these dark holes of trade, and why would they be so charmed by the experience that they would purchase a momento of the visit.

This particular assortment was found at a run-down mini-mart on Columbia Street that no tourist would ever chance upon, unless they ran out of gas on the way to Fairway. "Scenes of Brooklyn" the box read. Yet, the first picture in the stack looked far grander than any scene I'd ever encountered in the Borough of Kings. My God. Where are those statues, those maricured gardens, that grand manor hidden?

Turned out, the photo is a scene from Paris. Talk about your bait and switch.

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