“You have a rockin’ body,” the workman in Little Italy smiled as he passed me. “Do you want to hang out?”
“Thanks, but no,” I replied as I went along my way, a bit stunned that someone actually said that to me and even more surprised at the thought that someone might say Yes!
Just one of a handful of unusual occurrences that happened to me this week in NY, here are a couple others that stood out in my mind:
–While in a rush-hour taxi ride uptown, the large dump truck in front of us began backing up in the middle of the one-way street. My taxi-driver slammed on the brakes, then we were forced to back up, unsure how far this unconventional dance would take. As soon as the truck driver pulled over, my driver pulled next to him and began screaming at him, in English and an Asian tongue.
The seemingly New-York native driver of the truck began yelling back at him, “Ya Idiot. Ya Stoopid Idiot.” Gesturing all the while, he got more animated as he saw me—the passenger in the back—and began a louder show of gesturing and swearing, my driver still screaming, his neck veins bulging.
I finally had to say loudly “Let’s wrap this up and keep moving. I’m not paying for you to fight with this driver.” (in a much bigger vehicle able of crushing the cab, I thought)
–The next evening my cousins and I were seated to eat dinner at a trendy restaurant in the Village. Our waiter was soap-opera looking sexy, with dark wavy hair, overly white teeth, the dimples, white shirt slightly too tight to tight to show off his bulging muscles and tattoo, tan. He took out wine order fine, but when we asked him to explain what “Crispy Jesus Artichokes” were he simply answered’ “They’re fried.”
Oh really? We couldn’t figure that out? Talking down to four people who used to work in restaurants—two who once owned an excellent Italian restaurant of their own—waitering was clearly not his first choice of profession. He was slumming, waiting for his “big break.”
He barely acknowledged our table throughout our dining, yet we were the group that ordered three appetizers, each a main course, two bottles of wine, and two desserts. Think he got 15% tip? Doubtful.
–Last night Kris and I were out late, watching the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup at a bar by my hotel. We became friendly with the staff, asking where we could go dancing-as if we needed to go out further. The manager (I think) told us to go outside, downstairs and there was a dance club there; we got the impression it was the same owners.
We headed outside, to see the lone elder black “bouncer” standing by a forlorn red rope, bereft of patrons. What was he doing? And who was going to stand in his little line, in the pouring rain?
He refused to let us down the stairs. We weren’t on The List. We explained in vain that the manager and bartenders invited us specifically to go in, but he stood his ground. We were not on The List. Ah well. We could have put up more of a stink, gotten the manager to come tell of his invitation, but why? It was late, and I had to work in a few hours, and was this place in a dark alley, empty of all people, really The place to be? We left.
–And the shoes! The crazy, ridiculously high shoes. I am stunned that women totter on them to Starbucks like children playing dress up, legs unnaturally bent, many looking extremely uncomfortable and unable to walk smoothly. Boy, the designers pulled a fast one and the couture wanna-bees bought it. And while the shoe manufacturers know this ridiculous trend cannot last, the orthopedic doctors are lined up to catch the shaky as they fall. Literally.
Hard work, hard play, lots of walking. Pictures up soon. And always some interesting stories. Gotta love NY. C