(The first 2 paragraphs of this article are the same as the first two paragraphs of Good Deeds #3) 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; an older couple goes for a walk in Central Park), 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.
Somebody to Lean On by Lila Bader
I was at the intersection of 88thStreet and Madison Avenue one evening in May. I had the light and was starting to cross when a cab came around the corner and hit me.
I was lying in the street, in significant pain and unable to get up. Everyone in the small crowd gathered around me appeared to be calling 911.
The ambulance took longer than expected to arrive. A woman crouched down near me.
“I’d like to sit cross-legged behind you and have you put your head on my lap,” she said quietly.
And then she did just that. I rested on her lap until the ambulance finally got there. I asked her name.
“Laura,” she said.
Laura, I’ve thought of you many times since that night. Know that my displaced, fractured hip was more tolerable because of your kindness, and I’ll never forget it.
My Mother-in-Law’s Mink by Mikki Shaw
I had spent a cold, gray Friday afternoon helping to sort and pack up my mother-in law’s clothes. She had two fur coats, and I took them because I didn’t know what else to do.
On the way home, we stopped for a hot dog at Nathan’s. (It’s my fast food weakness.)
“Is it cold out?” the young woman at the register asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“I have to take a bus when I get out at 11,” she said, “and all I brought was a sweater.”
I went out to the car, got one of the minks, came back inside and gave it to her.
Parking Lesson by Ray Furlong
I pulled onto West 130thStreet between Lenox and Fifth Avenues looking for a parking spot. I noticed one between two cars. I knew there wasn’t a fire hydrant there.
Getting into the spot would have been a tight squeeze, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Luckily, though, I saw that there was a man sitting in the Jeep parked in front of the empty space. He had easily half a car’s length ahead of him that he could move up into. I figured I would ask if he would mind making my job easier.
Pulling alongside the Jeep, I saw that the man was leaning back in his seat. His window was already down. I rolled down my front passenger side window.
“Hi, excuse me.” I said, “Would you mind puling up a bit so I could squeeze in behind you?”
“Excuse me, sir?”
This time, he answered.
“Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just wanted to ask if you could move up a tad, maybe three feet.”
“I heard what you said,” he said. “I’ll move up two feet, and learn how to park.”
Now I was annoyed.
He pulled the Jeep up, and I backed into the empty spot easily. Turning off the ignition, I decided to ask the man if he would evaluate my parking job. After all, he had said I needed to learn.
As I approached the Jeep, the man was reaching out the window with his hand open. Almost magnetically, my hand was drawn into his.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m on the phone with the funeral home. My Father just passed. Please, go easy on me.”
It doesn’t take much to set us off when we’re surrounded by millions of people, especially in the heat. So go easy on each other.