Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Ohio, With Love -
Part 2

Chrysler Bldg (from Theater District)

My uncle wanted to know what my life looks like in New York. "Where do you get your food?  Are there grocery stores there?"

Yup.  They're small and cramped, but they exist.

"How do you get your groceries home?  You carry them six blocks?"

Yup.  I just buy less, more often.  And generally try to avoid purchasing more than 1-2 cans of anything on each trip; it's only six blocks, but canned goods make for a heavy haul.

Then my uncle told me about his first trip to The Big Apple.  He and my aunt came here on their honeymoon back in the early 1960's; he, being a jazz enthusiast, wanted to check out some of New York's famed jazz clubs.

One night, they took a cab down to Birdland on 52nd Street - it looked nothing like what he had expected, but the music was great.  He loves his jazz.  ("Honey," he said to me, "Remind me to tell you about the time your aunt and I saw Frank Sinatra, when he opened the Coliseum up at Richfield."  Knights-Of-Columbus!!, I swooned.)

My aunt and uncle stayed at Birdland for several sets; it was late when they left the club.  They had realized on the cab ride down that their hotel wasn't actually very far away, so they decided to walk back.  They got about a half a block when they heard a weird clanking sound.

It sounded like it was coming from around the corner.  The mysterious clanking was getting closer and closer, and then suddenly appeared before them -

A man, covered head to toe in a full suit of armor.  (Knights-Of-Columbus, indeed!!)

The suit of armor clanked by them without word or explanation.  My aunt and uncle, suitably startled and confused, had a good laugh and decided to take a cab home after all.  This was one strange town.

And it still is.

New York has lost a lot of it's grit in past decades.  But you still never know just what might come clanking around a corner.

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