My confidence for striking up a conversation or following my nose out of curiosity has definitely increased throughout our time in the States. Maybe it’s partly about being a Brit here and playing the ‘ignorance / nosey card’ and being able to get away with it. 😀
That’s how we ended up chatting to the owner of a shop who designs and makes chandeliers. I don’t know if there is a single word from earlier times to describe this line of work, such as a cooper or fletcher for example. Perhaps it’s too specialist as I don’t imagine there is a massively demand for chandeliers. “Ok I’m just popping down the market to spend my doubloons on a suckling pig and a 10 foot tall chandelier. Won’t be long.”
We were walking down the street in Port Washington, a satellite town a short trip from New York. There are plenty of big properties on Long Island that we saw as we sailed into the anchorage. These properties must fuel the demand for chandeliers. I hadn’t considered that chandeliers are still being made today. I had this skewed idea that the enormous light fitting that occupied the whole of the window was an antique. So my curiosity dictated I had to go in and find out more about this gigantic thing.
The guy was quite happy to explain politely that this thing of beauty was in fact brand new and made by his fair hands. He talked about making models as part of his job to get the size right for the space available. Too big and the thing looks cumbersome and distracting, too small and it’s lost and inappropriate. So much to consider. I now know more if and when I come to order one in the future! I can advise too if you’re thinking of buying one for only a modest consultancy fee.
I guess I need to mention NYC here too. We went and walked lots. Down to the south of Manhattan to the area where the Twin Towers stood and along the river to suss out our trip transiting the city by boat. Jesus it’s busy on the water. Boats everywhere. Then the next day we met a friend Nell, walked some of Central Park, ate burgers then caught the train back to Port Washington. We have had our city fix for a goodly while now.