I was in the West Village on a Sunday morning. As I was walking, I saw a woman step out of a building holding a jar.
Just then, a jogger came running by. The woman with the jar motioned to him. The two of them exchanged a few words, and then she handed him the jar.
The jogger twisted off the lid and handed the jar back to the woman. They wished each other a nice day, and then the jogger continued on his way and the woman went back inside.
— Yelena Falk
I parked my car on Mosholu Avenue outside a tiny barber shop with just three chairs. I tried to buy a parking ticket from the machine at the curb with my credit card but it wasn’t working.
The door to the barbershop opened, and the barber poked his head out.
“It only takes change,” he said.
I knew I didn’t have enough quarters. Opening the shop door, I asked the barber if he had change for a dollar.
A man who was getting his hair cut looked at me as the barber dug into his pocket and I dug into my purse for a $1 bill.
The barber dropped a quarter and it rolled out onto the sidewalk. He went outside, picked it up and handed me four quarters. I was still fishing in my purse.
“No, no, no,” he said.
“Please,” I insisted.
He went back inside and resumed cutting the man’s hair.
I went to feed the machine. It said, “Please wait.”
I waited. And waited.
The barber opened his door.
“It’s telling me to wait,” I said.
He came over, looked at the machine and went back inside.
“Excuse me,” he said to his customer. He put down his scissors and comb, put on his hat and jacket and left the shop.
He looked around and then pointed toward a bus stop across the avenue.
“Your car is small,” he said. “Try to squeeze it in between the bus sign and the car behind it.”
I started to walk to my car.
“No, no,” he said, changing his mind. “Over there, across the street, behind the white van. Park there, for nothing, there’s a spot.”
I couldn’t see it but I took his word for it. By now I had the dollar in my hand. I held it out.
“Thank you,” I said.
“No, no, Mami,” he said, “No!”
He turned and went back inside to finish cutting his customer’s hair.
— Georgie Lee
It must have been about 20 years ago. I was walking past the Gucci store on Fifth Avenue when a pair of red patent leather pumps caught my eye. I knew they weren’t in my budget but I had to take a closer look anyway.
I went inside and stood in front of the display, admiring them. I heard a woman’s voice over my right shoulder.
“Those are beautiful, aren’t they?”
“Yes,” I replied, my eyes still gazing at the shoes. “They sure are.”
I turned my head to see who the other admirer was and froze instantly.
It was Diana Ross.
She looked at me, smiled and glided away.
— Vana Partridge
I got on a Queens-bound N train at Seventh Avenue. I was standing when we arrived at the Fifth Avenue stop, and the train was held there because of a disabled train ahead of us.
As I was standing there, I looked behind me and saw a young man with headphones on who was holding a beautiful centerpiece arrangement of white roses and red berries.
I smiled and nodded toward the flowers. The young man took out his headphones and returned the smile. He said that the flowers were from a table at an event where he had worked and that he had been urged to take them home.
I asked if they had a fragrance and I bowed my head toward them to check. They did, I said.
With that, he pulled a rose from the arrangement and handed it to me.
I smiled as I accepted it. I asked if he was taking the rest to his girlfriend.
No, he said, he was taking them to his mother.
I smiled again, he put his headphones back in and the train continued on to Lexington Avenue.
— Annette Shear
I am 95, and I still like to take a daily constitutional. I walk slowly, with a walker.
As I leave my home in Riverdale, I turn right — south, that is — and walk along the tree-lined street. There is not much traffic. The doormen all know me, and we exchange friendly greetings.
Imagine my surprise one day to see a turkey walking alongside me. We were in perfect step. I don’t know whether the turkey was keeping step with me or I with him. In any case, I enjoyed the company.
After a while, the road curved in an easterly direction. That is where the turkey left me to go east into the park.
I turned around and took big steps. I was in a rush to tell of my adventure.
— Inge Hershkowitz
Illustrations by Agnes Lee
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