Arnon Grunberg


42nd street

Together with one of my assistants, Eva, who is basically in charge of my upcoming trip to Iraq, I went this afternoon shopping.
I needed a pair of shoes, a duffel bag and a flashlight, among other things.
Eva suggested that we go to Kaufman’s Army and Navy on 42nd street.
One of the more interesting shops I have been to in New York City.
According to the cashier and manager in the store, a Kaufman himself, his grandfather had started the enterprise during the depression. He had bought used army boots, resoled them, and then tried to sell them again.
The store is definitely worth a visit. In the cellar it seems there are working at least 5 what I shall call “slaves” who pop up and disappear again with all kinds of new and used military material.
Eva was so kind to write my name on my helmet and vest. In Afghanistan the Dutch army provided these things to me, but now they are mine and I don’t want to lose them somewhere in Iraq.