When you need a weird little, expensive looking, lightbulb and you’re anywhere near New Hippodrome Hardware in Manhattan then you’re about to be happy. Not only will your needs for the eccentric illuminator be met but the other need, the one you forgot to pay attention to, the one that requires you enjoy the company of good people, that’ll be met too. If you meet the manager. If you walk in and you witness the banter that ricochets around the store, usually artfully conducted by the manager. And I get the feeling that’s all the time. So, get happy.

“I need this,” I said with a bit more urgency than I meant, holding the little halogen bulb up to the face of a white-haired man.

“That’s really weird you’re asking for this because those just came in yesterday and another guy was just in here this morning needing one too,” the only too-happy-to-help manager said in a playful tone that matched the grin of his eyes.

“That’s fantastic,” I insisted, trying to match the sense of play this scene was taking on.

“We got that too! Comes in a spray or a roll-on,” he inventoried for me.

I knew then and there I would be using any excuse to duck into the place, to purchase utility but more to savor the added flavor.

Also adding good flavor to NY are the handball players striking matador poses, to intimidate their opponents: