New Yorkers live in a unique environment. It is a sports capital, a cultural hub, and a media center. It has its difficulties, too, but to those who love it, they will live only there. Even if it’s a high-priced, small studio apartment. For me, if I could afford an apartment overlooking Central Park (see above), I’d live there, too. (See my article, “The Park”, August 30, 2016)
I wrote 2 articles entitled “Good Deeds, Parts 1 + 2” on July 8thand 14th, 2017. As I mentioned then, present and former New Yorkers use the “Metropolitan Diary” portion of the New York Times as a place to share some of their important moments with the newspaper and its readers. Here are 3 more letters that have been published there.
Beneath a Baby Grand by Stacey Lender
I was strolling through Washington Square Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and I stopped to join a crowd of people listening to a man who plays classical music there on his baby grand piano.
At the end of the piece, he asked if anyone would like to lie underneath the piano for his next song. No one stepped up, so I figured, why not?
I rested my head near his feet and stretched my legs out toward the long end of the piano, staring up at the instrument’s wooden underbelly. For the next five minutes, I closed my eyes and let the sounds of “Clair de Lune” envelop me.
“How was it?” he asked when I stood up.
“It was like the greatest M. R. I. I’ve ever had,” I replied.
Soft Landing byConstance Vidor
After I learned about the terrible ways that plastic bags can affect the environment, I began to carry three sturdy, reusable plastic bags for shopping in my backpack everywhere I went.
One day when I was out, a bicycle rider knocked me over on the sidewalk. Time stopped as I watched my feet fly up over my head. I had visions of walkers, pain pills, crutches, a wheelchair.
Then, poof, I landed on my plastic-bag-filled backpack. No broken hip, no fractured spine.
Do your bit for the environment, and the world will love you back.
On Broadway, Near LaSalleby James White
It happened on a Sunday evening. My girlfriend and I were heading up Broadway near LaSalle Street when we noticed a delivery man with a scooter standing near the curb and looking down into a storm drain.
His mouth was open as if in disbelief or perhaps worry that his deliveries were late and getting cold.
I approached him, and found out that his key ring had fallen down the drain. Despite a language barrier –I learned later that he was from Burkina Faso—we were on the same page. We shined the flashlights on our cellphones through the grate and spotted the keys near the rim of a pipe.
I headed for my apartment, which wasn’t far away, to get a wire hanger. My girlfriend stayed behind.
A lot went on while I was away. One man stopped and spoke to the delivery man in French before positioning his car to keep other drivers away. A second man arrived on a bike and took out a high-powered flashlight. Then another delivery man pulled up on a scooter. Finally, a cab stopped and a woman got out. She asked in Spanish what was happening. She also wanted to help.
When I returned, we all crouched down around the drain under the high-powered light.
I bent the hanger into a more helpful length and lowered it through the grate. Carefully, I hooked the key ring.
By this point, a small crowd had gathered on the sidewalk. When the brassy shine of the key ring emerged from the grate, cheers echoed across the block.
Then we all said our goodbyes. It was getting late, and we had somewhere to go.