"Wait a minute, where am I? Just a moment ago, I was walking south on Hudson Street from Christopher, past the John Melser Charrette School (a k a P. S. 3), took a left on Grove -- or was it Marloes Road in London (the sudden Englishness of the hidden mews at Grove Court has regyroscoped my geographical inner ear) -- and I've run smack into a Federal wood house from early 19th-century America on the corner, No. 100 Bedford Street. Beside it, at 102, is a stucco Tudor worthy of note, at least for its eccentricity, and now I'm turning around to see the back of the school on whose pediment has been carved ''Childhood Shows the Man.'' Must be America. But when I turn right and cross the street, it seems I've wound up in . . . the Ninth Arrondissement? Can't be. The street signs all along the boulevard say Bedford, but on this side of Seventh and that side of Carmine, I could almost swear I was in Paris.
Although our blessed city is loaded with charming and quirky streets, few have as many quirks per foot as Bedford Street in Greenwich Village. It parades for only eight blocks (and two of those are thumb-size) but is home to almost a dozen restaurants, two bars, a lounge featuring drag shows, a palm reader, two antique shops and an avant-garde exercise studio (Gyrotonic, a sort of rotating strength-o-ciser soon to replace both Pilates and yoga as Workout of the Hip). "
"So if you want a refreshing toe-dip into the global village (including our own), you don't have to join the army. Become a freelancer, walk south from Christopher on Bedford and see the world. All right, Greenland and Australia aren't represented, but they're not honest continents anyway. "