Monday, September 13, 2010

Word on the Street

Central Park, before sunset
Central Park @ Dusk

Oh, weekend. You done ended so fast. Frowny face :(

It was a fun ride while it lasted though: improv shows in Chelsea, coffee shop time on the Upper West Side, drinks in Nolita, dinner in the East Village, churchin' it up in the West Village, a television pilot preview in Midtown, Scrabble on the Upper East Side. Phew; I covered a lot of ground.

I also bumped into some..."New York regulars"... shall we call them?

Exhibit A: The Grumpy Old Man

On Saturday night, AD and I were walking east on 7th Street, catching up on life and in search of a late dinner.  A white-haired gentleman stepped off a stoop and glared at us.

"You going to a party?" he asked menacingly.  We kept walking and he yelled after us, "PARTY PUTZES!!!"

Is that a thing? "Party Putzes"?  Perhaps in the Old Man Lexicon, falling somewhere between "Hogwash!" and "What in Sam Hill?"

Exhibit B: Someone's Italian Grandmother

Later that night, walking north on 6th Avenue, I heard someone call out to me. Sad to say, I've gotten conditioned to ignore "Excuse me!" - usually assuming it's someone asking for $1 to get a bus ticket back to Jersey, or waving a flyer for a "free massage," or wanting me to sign a petition, or buy a pashmina. But this "Excuse me!" was coming from an elderly lady, standing near the curb. She didn't look like she wanted anything but an answer, so I stopped and said, "Yes?"

She pointed downtown and asked in a faint accent, "Is that the moon?"

I followed her gaze and saw the bright spot in the sky, which I myself had mistaken for the moon the night before, until I saw the two pale blue beams extending beneath. "No, ma'am, that's the light from Ground Zero. The 9-11 memorial."

"Oh, right," she replied, "I couldn't quite tell." She grabbed my hand and shook it; we said "Goodnight!" I hope she got home ok.

Exhibit C: A Caffeinated Cross-Dresser

On Sunday morning, I popped into the 'bucks to get a Grande cup of comfort to join me on my walk in Riverside Park. Though it was early, the place was hopping.  While I waited for the barista to bring me my coffee, the lady behind me moved up to speak to another barista.  But before she ordered her latte, she said, "Um, I just wanted to let you know that there's a man back there [she gestured behind us] and you can see everything. I mean, he's wearing a dress and you can see everything down below."

I craned my neck to see for myself, and there he was - a man in a short dress and high-heels, applying make-up while gazing into a hand-held mirror. Apparently his mama never told him that ladies sit with their knees together, because his were spread quite far apart. Thankfully, he was lady-like enough to wear pantyhose, which kinda covered up most of the junk.

"Oh yeah," the barista responded, unconcerned, "I saw him."

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