New York Encounters

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Helping hand

I was getting into an elevator a while back. While trying to locate the button for my floor, one of the building attendants - a short, sweet looking man in his fifties - saw me and trying to help me asked:

" Which floar you lookin foar?"
"Err, 32nd".
"Turdy too? Here ya go." he said and pressed the button for me.
"Thanks", I said and gave him a smile.
"Don'-woarry-aboud-it" he replied and the doors closed.

I LOVE the Italo-NY accent! :)


I was waiting at a traffic light on the corner of 35th and 7th recently when this lady walked past me speaking very loudly into her cell phone saying:

"Really? God, I'm so into culture...!"


Only in New York!

New York. Vibrant, exhultant - rampant with a myriad of characters that can highlight your day in an instant with their energy and quirks. You never know what the day will bring on the streets , restaurants and in the elevators of this city. New York encounters are unique.

In the 3 minutes it takes to travel to the 30 -somethingth floor of a high rise, you are almost guaranteed a converstion with the person next to you and by the time the doors open to your floor, you will know all about his/her family/ work dilemma. After that surprisingly sudden personal exchange with the nameless stranger, you'll step outside with an awkward: "Well, good luck and have a nice day" and continue on with your own little life - your own little story, astounded and strangely touched by the apparently carefree openness of New Yorkers.

Are New Yorkers, contrary to common belief, really such open-hearted people or is their willingness to disclose their personal lives so indiscriminately and freely just a symptom of their complete self-absorbtion? In the two years I've been in this city, I have not been able to decide on the answer.

Perhaps, having an answer to this question is beside the point. Perhaps, we should simply appreciate and enjoy every one of those little encounters and add them to our mental tapestry of life in New York. We should look at these random exchanges and see the metaphor in them ; that we all are nothing more than little random encounters and exchanges in this universe - everyone of us as sudden and fleeting as the few seconds we share with the stranger in a New York elevator.

I will share my own little encounters with you. I would love it if you could add your own little stories to this tapestry..