An event I witnessed yesterday afternoon struck me as a clear example of how tense and emotional the current running through NYC and the country is right now. At 4:00 I sitting on a bench outside Gourmet Garage trying to figure out how to place a complicated Starbucks order for my neighbor when I heard a man and a woman across the street angrily yelling at each other. From what I could discern he was furious because she had asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He shouted menacingly that just because he was black and she was white she had no right to tell him what to do. Her odd emotional response was that she wasn’t prejudiced and to prove it she had just participated in the protest march downtown. He didn’t care he yelled, she was a white bigot and all the violence happening in this country right now was because of people like her. My pounding heart finally calmed down when she turned and quickly started walking away. After yelling a few more angry retorts he stormed away as well, thankfully in the opposite direction.
In the meantime, my attempt to do a good deed was rewarded by an angry phone call from my neighbor demanding to know why I thought this was what she wanted from Starbucks (possibly because it was the closest thing on the menu that matched the complicated instructions in her text?). She told me she threw away the $8.00 drink and that I should go get my money back. Not quite the reaction I had in mind!
Could the day get any more star crossed? If you saw the police attacking peaceful protesters to clear a path so President Trump could make his way across the street to brandish a bible in front of St John’s church, you know the answer.
Like every other New Yorker, as well as 80% of my fellow Americans, I’m sitting in my apartment on lockdown as I have been for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Luckily I live in an apartment that affords beautiful views of this magical city. Looking at tonight’s breathtaking sunset, the light show display at the top of the Empire State Building and the lights in apartment windows as far as the eye can see, you would never guess that the only sound I hear, almost non stop, are sirens. Ambulances and fire engines working 24/7, for the first time in modern history, have no traffic to dodge as they race from one emergency to the next.
Tonight’s beautiful sunset fortunately was not unique, the photo of Amsterdam Avenue however, is. Amsterdam is one of the main arteries of the Upper West Side. It runs from 59th street to 193rd street and is usually filled with bumper to bumper traffic. Now as you can see, hardly a car in sight.
This evening I Facetimed with my two adorable Chicago grandchildren. Milo, who will be nine years old tomorrow (YIKES, where did the time go?) became very worried about his NYC Nana after hearing the news about the corona virus and how dangerous it can be for “seniors”. What did I do today he asked? I told him that I took a long walk in Central Park this morning then spent the rest of the day writing. With a puzzled look he asked why would I do that when all the cards and letters I send him already have good cursive?! Told you this would make you smile!
Leaving the Doctors office a few weeks ago after having foot surgery, I treated myself to an Uber ride home. As I lifted my booted foot gingerly into the car, Paul, the driver, turned around and, with a great show of concern, asked what happened. I explained that I had just had foot surgery and would need to wear this clumsy boot for a few weeks, to which he replied “Florence, from the looks of you that boot should have a Prada label”! Maybe you had to be there but that’s when I, who was arguably looking my worst, fell in love with Paul the Uber driver from Brooklyn!!