With A Nod To Dr Seuss

Last Monday I unavoidably found myself heading west on W. 66th St between Broadway & Amsterdam at 4:00 PM, the same time two area high schools were in the process of   dismissal.  As I was dodging in and out of the throngs of boisterous students one of the kids suddenly picked up a signboard advertising weekly chamber music concerts held at the church next to my apartment building. He lifted it over his head pretending to throw it at a group of approaching kids. After a brief hesitation he instead hurled it violently to the sidewalk scattering signboard pieces, leaflets and frightened kids all over the street.

I hadn’t noticed the man walking behind me until I jumped aside to avoid the crashing signboard & debris. We came to a stop inches from each other and turned in unison to watch the perpetrator saunter away laughing uproariously at the havoc he had caused. As our eyes met (he looking down and me straining up to see his face) I said “should we go after him” (easy for me to act brave when my potential partner was at least 6’3, built like an iron man and, not to mention,drop dead handsome)?  He paused for a second, smiled and said “then I’d have to deck him and then I’d probably have to  do the same to all the kids who would be joining in, then it would become a free for all, then the police would be called, then everyone would recognize me and I would wind up signing autographs for the rest of the day”!  By the time he finished his commentary, instead of being angry I was laughing and thoroughly charmed as we bent down to clean up the mess together.  Who was he you ask? I‘m sorry to report I have no idea but he definitely had a presence and a great sense of humor.

With a nod to Dr Seuss, I walked away thinking to myself “and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street”


A Few Subway Recommendations

I strongly recommend using your subway commute to practice patience and learning to rise above the occasional temptation to be a hater. I almost always find ways to practice one or both of these character-building traits on my daily subway rides.

As an object lesson and with brutal honesty I will share my most recent failed attempt. The morning after Mr. Trump’s State of the Union Speech as I was headed crosstown on the N train,  I overheard two people engaged in an animated conversation about how great the speech was the night before and what a wonderful job our underappreciated president is doing.  Ironically, as I inwardly rolled my eyes and silently repeated “practice patience” & “don’t be a hater” I noticed the sign posted over their heads, “If You See Something, Say something”. Any thoughts about practicing self-improvement were instantly erased as I wondered if these people and their annoyingly misguided conversation qualified as reportable offenses?!

Like I said, I recommend using your subway time to practice positive thinking and trying not to be a hater. This can be character building in so many ways… or not!