Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snapshots and snippets of NYC

Some random faces of New York City interspersed with anecdotes of our trip, snippets of overheard conversations and public announcements.  

In the Subway station when offered a proselytising leaflet:
Me: “No Thanks.”
Man: “Don't thank me for rejecting God.” 

I have received comments and compliments on my hair almost daily, more when the weather was really dreary and almost always from young African American women who usually address me as sister. 

At The American Museum of Natural History:
Dad: “Come over here and look at this.”
Son: “I don't wannnnnna seeeee anything else! Enough already.”

In the Port Authority bus terminal a kind, helpful ticket seller at Greyhound printed out extra information about the bus and stopping points on the journey and hand wrote a list of her own recommendations of what to do in Niagara Falls based on her trip there 10 years ago. Taking time and providing extra service for us because as she said, “With some customers I just feel a connection.” 

Acrobatic performer, who was part of a dynamic 3-man team of physical theatre performers, busking in Time Square, to the mother whose son they just selected from the audience to be part of their show, “Don't worry nothing will happen. If it does we help you make another one. ALL of us”

While walking along Broadway:
Mum: “….. Because I told you to!”
Son: “When I get arrested you are going to have to pay the bail.”

New Yorkers keep New York safe.
If you see something! Say something.

I got a free battery replacement and the assistant, who did it, also buffed the face of my watch in the Swatch Watch Store in Times Square. 

“Stand clear of the closing doors please.”

On the subway: “OK we can do this. We will make it. As soon as the doors open start running. It's only 10 blocks.”

At The American Museum of Natural History: “Grandma I can read too.”

We've seen some amazing parenting in public and the standouts are black dads, who speak quietly and ask questions to engage their children in museum exhibits and everyday events in the streets. It's inspiring. 

A eager young squirrel in Central Park holding down a daffodil bud by the leaves as though it had just hunted it down and captured it and then voraciously eating the as yet unopened flower.

Two men at a street stall - a vendor and a passerby in heated discussion. As we approached the vendor shouts, “Don't STAARRT anything.” With the emphasis on start... does that mean finishing it is OK??

Young kid on the Highline to mum: “OK so we've done this now. There's a really cool playground......”

In the Palace Theatre waiting for "Sunset Boulevard" to start,
“This is like a serious theatre goers dream....... I saw Al Pacino play in Mid Summer Night's Dream in Central Park.” 

Just as the D Train pulled out of the 145th Street Station this morning two young guys threw down their bags and started removing their hoodies. As one paced up and down shouting,  “We are here to entertain not cause pain,” the other set up a portable speaker and connected to a mini iPad. By the time we reached 125th Street Station they were set to go. The longest run on this express train is from that point to 59th Street. For that run they alternated tossing the hat in the air and keeping it off the ground with various body parts and then the wearer took centre stage, fist bumping, dancing and pole dancing! But the real show was the pole acrobatics: swing from them, climbing up them, spinning round them upside and suspended from them by elbows, knees, legs and arms as well as climbing with feet and hands and utilizing the ceiling without once connecting with a seated passenger. Despite the announcements not to give to vagrants on the subway, when the hat came round the passengers and both of us tossed in the dollars and some even asked for change. As the woman seated near me said directly to me, “That was a real New York experience.”

The same woman who turned out to be an attorney returning from a courthouse in the Bronx to her office in Brooklyn struck up a conversation with me and asked rounds of questions which involved how long we had been here, how we could get such long vacation, what we did and what our plans for the future were. After hearing about Bhutan and Cambodia she responded, “So there are still idealists left in the world!”  I guess that’s me and that too was a real ‘Noo Yawk’ experience.

A simple observation – I have never seen fewer rats in the subway system or more homeless in the streets! A strange truth comparing 5 visits from 1987 to 2017!

“There is a Brooklyn bound local train now arriving on the upper level.”

The nosey doorman to the Hillview Towers, “Are you guys still here?”

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